Ontario’s Public Library Sector

It is crucial that the public library CEO has a solid understanding of the framework for public library service in Ontario.  He or she needs to know that in Ontario, public libraries are mandated provincially and funded largely by municipalities, with some provincial funding.  The successful CEO also works to understand who the key players are in the Ontario public library community, in terms of influential individuals and organizations.     

Last updated: July 21, 2014

Competency:  Understands the framework for public library service in Ontario

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:      

  • Complies with the legislative requirements of the Public Libraries Act, the Corporations Act, and the Municipal Act, 2001
  • Understands the governance of public libraries in Ontario and the roles and responsibilities of municipalities, library boards, and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
  • Completes the Annual Survey of Public Libraries and fulfills all other requirements to receive funding from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, including the Public Libraries Operating Grant (PLOG) and special grants as they arise
  • Utilizes the services of Southern Ontario Library Service or Ontario Library Service North and participates in their planning and feedback processes when invited to do so
  • Demonstrates familiarity with province-wide systems and networks for interlibrary loan and collective purchasing and licensing.


Competency:  Identifies and builds relationships with key players in Ontario’s public library sector

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:      

  • Cultivates relationships with individual Ministry staff and knows who to contact regarding a variety of issues
  • Cultivates relationships with individual SOLS/ OLS-North staff and knows who to contact regarding a variety of issues 
  • Cultivates relationships with individuals in other public library organizations, eg. Ontario Library Association (OLA), Ontario Public Library Association (OPLA), Federation of Ontario Public Libraries (FOPL), etc.  
  • Raises the library’s visibility in the province by getting involved in provincial initiatives
  • Cultivates relationships with peers in neighbouring and similar libraries
  • Develops an awareness of Ontario’s innovative libraries and influential leaders, as well as those beyond Ontario.  

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