Ontario Newsroom

Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund

Archived Backgrounder

Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

The Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund is a $10 million investment over three years that recognizes the key role public libraries play in building strong, vibrant communities across the province. 

The fund was announced in the Ontario 2014 Budget.

The Ontario government consulted with the public library sector on priorities for this investment, including in-person and phone-in consultations with key public library organizations. An online survey of all public libraries was also conducted, with an almost 90 per cent response rate.

Based on stakeholder consultations, the new Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund will target the following priorities:

IT and Service Capacity, including:

  • Increased wireless internet access
  • Faster Internet connections 
  • Website development 
  • Hardware/software to improve access and services for library users
  • Library staff development for improved IT, program and service capacity
  • Collection development (e.g. e-books)
  • Improvements to the Integrated Library System (ILS describes the software that automates the many different library work categories) 

Research and innovation projects; for example:

  • Finding new tools to enable libraries to better understand and respond to users' needs. 
  • Conducting research and collecting data on partnerships and community engagement.
  • Broadening access to innovative practices and technologies that support skills development and lifelong learning. 

Proposed breakdown of the fund:

Fiscal Year

IT and Service Capacity

Research and Innovation



$3 million


$3 million


$2.5 million

$1 million

$3.5 million


$2.5 million

$1 million

$3.5 million

Media Contacts



Arts and Culture Home and Community