Mandate and Mission


Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) was established in 1989 and is mandated to deliver programs and services on behalf of the Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport by:

  • Increasing cooperation and coordination among public library boards and other information providers in order to promote the provision of library service to the public; and
  • Assisting public library boards by providing them with services and programs that reflect their needs, including consultation, training and development.


On behalf of its owners, the people of Ontario, as represented by the Minister with jurisdictions for public libraries, SOLS exists so that the public has equitable access to library services thus supporting a dynamic cultural environment, economic vitality and quality of life. This is to be achieved at a sustainable cost. 

Without limiting the scope of the above, SOLS exists so that the public has equitable access to:

  1. Worldwide library collections and e-resources
  2. Well-informed and skilled staff, and
  3. Library services that meet common standards

SOLS grew out of an amalgamation of regional library systems that themselves had provided support and development services to the libraries in their regions for decades. SOLS now serves the public libraries of almost 200 municipalities from Windsor to the Quebec border and north to Muskoka and ranging in population from hundreds to hundreds of thousands. Many of our services are provided collaboratively with OLS-North. Some of our services are provided province-wide.

Please review's Terms of Use. For questions, comments and suggestions regarding this website, please Contact SOLS Helpdesk.

The Southern Ontario Library Service  is working to make our website accessible to all. We welcome comments and suggestions on access improvements and encourage you to take a look at our updated Accessibility Policy. If you require a particular PDF or word document in an accessible format, please do not hesitate to contact us. We also offer BrowseAloud reading support - click on the orange graphic to the right to launch.  Learn more about BrowseAloud.

The support of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport is gratefully acknowledged.