New Computers, Wireless Access Coming to Libraries Across Ontario
Province Helping Libraries Offer IT and Digital Services for Communities
Ontario is helping libraries across the province offer access to more technology in their communities, such as wireless internet connections, new computers, and e-books, as well as classes on topics like social media and computer literacy.
Today, the province is celebrating Public Library Week with new funding for up to 309 libraries and library boards in towns and cities across Ontario. This funding helps increase access to technology for communities, and gets more people engaged in reading and learning at their local library.
The new technology enhancements coming to local libraries could include:
- New hardware and software, including computers, tablets, 3D printers, music recording equipment, video conference equipment, computerized white boards, and technology to support people with disabilities
- Updated digital collections, like e-books and audio books
- Website development, to help make library websites more user-friendly
- Internet improvements, like wireless access for the public and faster connections.
The funding also supports public training on topics like social media, internet use for beginners and computer literacy. Libraries will determine how their funding will be used, based on their specific local needs.
This investment builds on a commitment in Ontario's first ever Culture Strategy to support Ontario's public and First Nation libraries as essential spaces for access to cultural experiences, technology and community life.
Investing in Ontario's public libraries is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- Today’s investment totals $2.5 million, and is part of a $10-million investment over three years, through the Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund.
- In addition to helping libraries improve digital and IT services, the Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund supported 10 new research and innovation projects.
- There are more than 1,100 public libraries across Ontario, with almost 70 million in-person visits each year.
- Since 2003, the Ontario government has invested more than $545 million in public and First Nation libraries.
- Ontario Public Library Week was first announced by the province in 1985. This year, it takes place from October 16-22.
- This investment aligns with the government’s commitment to support community hubs and help Ontarians in their everyday lives by making it easy to access multiple services under one roof within their communities.
“Public libraries are an important resource for people of all ages; they offer high-quality programs and services that have a positive impact on Ontarians across the province. By improving access to digital and IT resources, we are helping libraries evolve with technology, which is essential in today’s knowledge economy.”
“We are seeing many new ideas as a result of the Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund investment to date. Ontario’s public libraries have been able to create virtual community hubs, digital programming labs, immigrant hub resources and much more. This investment provides the opportunity for libraries to develop innovative programs that are responsive and also adaptable to other communities across the province.”