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Thursday, October 12, 2017

New Support for Hundreds of Libraries Across Ontario

Province Supporting Digital Improvements for People to Enjoy at Libraries

Ontario is kicking off Public Library Week with improvements to digital services at 307 libraries and library organizations across the province.

Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport was at the Burlington Public Library today to recognize the valuable role that libraries play in Ontario communities and announce funding for the local library system.

The Burlington Public Library is receiving support from the Improving Library Digital Services fund to offer more resources for people in the community to use at its Ideaworks Studio, including a new 3D printer, digital embroidery machine and new digital media software. People will be able to enjoy these specialized technologies for their own interests and to help with projects and schoolwork.

Ontario is increasing access to technology, digital services and training opportunities at public libraries in towns, cities and Indigenous communities across the province. Funding is helping libraries offer 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.

Minister McMahon also announced the shortlist finalists for this year's Ontario Public Library Service Awards, recognizing excellence in library services.

Investing in Ontario's public libraries is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
 
Quick Facts:

  • Ontario is investing $3 million through the Improving Library Digital Services fund to support up to 307 libraries and library organizations across the province. This includes $1 million for rural, remote and First Nation public libraries through 2017 Budget Talks.
  • Burlington Public Library is receiving $25,000 from this fund.
  • This investment builds on a commitment in Ontario’s Culture Strategy to support Ontario’s public and First Nation libraries as essential spaces for people to access cultural experiences, technology and community life.
  • Each year Ontario provides more than $21 million through annual operating grants to almost 400 public libraries, First Nations and contracting organizations across the province.
  • Ontario Public Library Week was first announced by the province in 1985. This year, it takes place from October 15-21.
 
Additional Resources:

 
Quotes:
 
"Every year for one week in October, we celebrate Ontario’s public libraries. This is a chance to pay tribute to the staff, board members and volunteers who are making a real difference in their communities. Our government recognizes the vital role our public libraries play in ensuring Ontario families have access to high-quality programs and services, and is committed to helping libraries evolve with technology. I encourage people of all ages to take advantage of the remarkable offerings available at their local library — this week and all year long."

 — Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

"Ontario’s public libraries are essential digital hubs for communities across Ontario. They serve as the greatest equalizer for access to information across our communities. We are fortunate to live in a province that invests in our communities so that people have the opportunity to be connected, learn, and to access the resources they need to succeed in our digital world."

 — Shelagh Paterson, Executive Director, Ontario Library Association

"Burlington Public Library is delighted to be able to invest this generous provincial grant into the purchase of equipment and software that will support the ‘creators’ and ‘makers’ in our community who are exploring new ideas and skills. A professional grade 3D printer, digital embroidery machine and creation/editing software for digital media will all be added to our Ideaworks Studio makerspace to build 21st century literacies."

 — Maureen Barry, CEO, Burlington Public Library

Media Contacts:

Denelle Balfour
Communications Branch
416-326-1724
denelle.balfour@ontario.ca

Jeff Costen
Minister’s Office
416-314-4266
jeff.costen@ontario.ca
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