Each year, libraries strive to ensure they provide the spaces, services, and materials communities need. They do this while navigating the occasionally muddy waters of provincial and municipal policies. Many library staff have considered how these waters could be better mapped and charted, but we are little fish in a very large lake. Each library system in Ontario has a unique relationship with it’s local and provincial government, and further to that, they are not the only organizations in their communities who stand to benefit should policies and and processes improve.
Karen Pitre was named as Special Advisor to the Premier on Community Hubs to develop an Action Plan to make it easier for local organizations to become community hubs, and ensure that it isn’t only the ‘local heroes’ who “overcome the barriers of jurisdictional and sectoral silos to create delivery models that effectively meet their communities’ needs.” (p. 2)
Sixty-four libraries from across Ontario were identified in the report as stakeholder organizations, or working in community development; they participated in meetings, sent analyses or commentary and/or took part in an online survey.
Stephen Abram, the Executive Director of the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries submitted a comprehensive report from the Ontario Library Association, the Ontario School Library Association, the Ontario Public Library Association, the Association of Library Consultants and Coordinators of Ontario, the Ontario Library Boards Association and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council.
Community Hubs in Ontario: A Strategic Framework & Action Plan is now available both online, and in pdf format for those interested.