Follow MTCS on Facebook!

In October, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport launched a Facebook page, which contains information for the public about some of the good work they are doing to make Ontario the premiere tourism and culture destination in the world. We are hoping you can help get the message out by following them on Facebook and sharing their posts on your own channels.

Folow them at:

English: facebook.com/ExploreOn French: facebook.com/ONexplorez


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Congratulations to Anne Marie Madziak!

Congratulations to our very own, Anne Marie Madziak, on being awarded the 2017 Ontario Library Association Media and Communications Award! It recognizes her work highlighting the varied services and integral roles public libraries play in their communities in articles published in Municipal World over the last five years. 

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Out and About: Vaughan Civic Centre Resource Library Opening

On Saturday, September 10th I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening of the Civic Centre Resource Library of Vaughan Public Libraries. Despite the cloudy and rainy conditions, the event was extremely well attended. Representatives of current and past councils and library boards were on hand to mark the occasion. Speakers included the mayor, the Honourable Maurizio Bevilacqua, the ward councillor, Marilyn Iafrate and the Library Board Chair, Dr. Devender Sandhu. Added to this list of speakers were Paul Stevens, Senior Principal, ZAS Archirect + Interiors, Daniel Aquino, President, Quicon Construction Co. Ltd and Farq Barghash, the special guest. Mr. Aquino was particularly appreciative on being part of the list of dignitaries as he says he’s usually relegated to the back of the room behind a sign! Ms. Barghash, while being the last speaker to take to the podium, was perhaps the “pièce de résistance” of the event. This young lady clocked over 1000 volunteer hours at the library and described very eloquently what an integral part of her and her family’s life it has been.

Margie Singleton, the CEO of Vaughan Public Libraries, noted in her remarks that the new building was the result of “an extraordinary example of collaboration…a place of community…a fun place to be, celebrate and create”. It was clear the attendees thought so too, because despite the rain, humidity and cranky kids, everyone was on hand to explore this great new space.

There is no doubt in my mind that this amazing facility is gem and its relationship and place in the community assured. You could feel the love…it was palpable. I want to offer my congratulations to the City of Vaughan and to the staff and Board of the Vaughan Public Libraries on this grand opening.

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Provincial Library Funding Review Announced

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.

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Ontario's Culture Strategy

By now, you may have heard that Ontario is developing the first culture strategy, ever, for the province. The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport wants to hear from Ontarians what their vision of arts and culture is. This is a chance for public libraries, one of the four culture sectors supported by MTCS, to inform and shape this strategy.

SOLS’s own Anne Marie Madziak’s article in the September issue of Municipal World, “How staff in your public library are local culture heroes” could not have arrived at a better time. In it, she describes public library staff as “important champions of your local culture”.  If you haven’t already read this article, make it a priority and share it with your board and council.

The Ministry is encouraging participation across the province through live Town Halls and virtually through the Culture Talks website. Public libraries' staff, users and supporters have an opportunity to demonstrate their unique cultural role in local communities. Don’t miss it!

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