On July 20th at the AGO in Toronto, the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport unveiled its first ever Culture Strategy. Our new Minister, the Honourable Eleanor McMahon, was on hand to make the announcement. If you haven’t read the strategy, do so. A lot of consultation went into creating it…nearly 3,000 people provided feedback. Libraries are mentioned 17 times in the document…yup, I did a word count. I won’t go into the details; you can read them for yourselves.
What you should know, is that our Ministry will be launching a review of the provincial funding provided to support Public Libraries, i.e. Operating Grants and grants directly supporting First Nation Public Libraries and the two Ontario Library Service agencies. The Ministry plans to consult with the sector in order to determine how the Ministry can best serve the library community. Keep in mind, there will be no new additional money made available. The consultation will focus on establishing funding priorities.
So start thinking about what the provincial role in supporting public libraries is and be prepared to share your thoughts.