EXCEL Program


EXCEL Scholarships in honour of Laurey Gillies

In December 2013, Laurey Gillies, the long-time CEO of the Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) retired after more than 30 years of service.  In her honour, SOLS would like to offer two scholarships per semester, which would cover the registration fees for one (1) EXCEL course in that semester to each student.  One scholarship is offered to a student from the geographic area served by Ontario library Service-North and one scholarship to a student from the Southern Ontario Library Service area.

To qualify for consideration, a student would need to have already successfully completed five (5) EXCEL courses, and be willing to submit a short written entry. 

To apply, interested students should write a description of how the EXCEL courses have had an impact on their work at the library – for example, what did you learn that you were able to apply to the library? Your written description must be between 250 to 500 words in length. 

While the registration deadline for the Fall 2014 semester is Thursday, September 4th, applications for this Scholarship must be submitted to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by Thursday, August 28, 2014. All entries meeting the minimum requirement will be reviewed by a panel of three comprised of EXCEL tutors and OLS staff, and a decision made by September 4th.  Students can apply for up to two courses in a calendar year.


What is EXCEL?

EXCEL is a practical, flexible, distance education program that provides an opportunity to upgrade library skills and management techniques.

Who should take EXCEL?

EXCEL is specifically designed for public library staff or volunteers who are currently working in a public library and have little or no formal library training.

How does the EXCEL program work?

  • EXCEL is offered in English and French using telephone tutors
  • If you are pursuing a Certificate in managing a small public library, you must complete at least ten EXCEL courses, including six of the core courses, within five years
  • If you are not pursuing the Certificate, you may take individual courses of interest to you
  • Ideally, students take one course per semester, or two if they feel they can handle the workload. Students may not take 3 courses in one semester.

How do EXCEL courses work?

  • Each course consists of five or six modules with an assignment per module and an exam for the course
  • Assignments are based on practical applications to test the principles of the course in your own work situations

When is EXCEL offered?

We offer seventeen different courses in a cycle over three semesters each year: Winter (January to April), Summer (May to August) and Fall (September to December).We offer each course at least once a year.

How much does EXCEL cost?

Each course costs $145.00 plus HST ($18.85) = $163.85.

How do I register for EXCEL?

Please read our general information on registration\ Renseignements généraux pour l'inscription (EXCEL). We post a registration form approximately six weeks before the registration deadline.

How do I get more information about EXCEL?

List of contacts has been provided.

Is there an advanced EXCEL that goes beyond the basics?

Yes, there is a second stream within the EXCEL program called Advanced EXCEL.