What is Accreditation?

The Ontario Public Library Guidelines were developed by the Ontario public library community to help improve the quality of public library service across the province. Libraries can work with the guidelines to develop a comprehensive process and plan for improvement. The Guidelines are important not only for libraries pursuing accreditation but as a process for boards, CEOs, and library staff to assess their governance, management and services against best practices.  Public libraries who meet the guidelines requirements can request a formal audit and accreditation will be granted to those achieving a successful audit.

The Guidelines are the responsibility of the Ontario Public Library Guidelines Monitoring and Accreditation Council, with the administration work handled by staff at Ontario Library Service - North. 


How SOLS can help

  • SOLS consultants can provide information, advice and assistance to support libraries as they put in place the fundamentals of good library service.
  • SOLS consultants can help library staff and trustees in the use of the Ontario Public Library Guidelines as a planning/ assessment tool.
  • SOLS staff have created sample library policies which match the requirements of the Ontario Public Library Guidelines and which cover governance, operations, human resources, volunteers and fundraising.
  • SOLS staff have also collected library plans from a variety of library sources as examples of written plans that meet the requirements of the Ontario Public Library Guidelines.

The Ontario Public Library Guidelines

The seventh edition of the Ontario Public Library Guidelines is now available.  While further information is posted on the official Ontario Public Library Guidelines website, all of the necessary documents are also posted below.   


Guidelines Audit Tool

By completing the Guidelines Audit Tool/Checklist as a self-assessment, a library CEO or board members would be able to identify aspects of governance, policy development, operations and services that need to be addressed.  The results from the self-assessment can then become part of the library work plan. There are two file versions of the Ontario Public Library Guidelines Checklist - one in Word and one in Excel.   


The Accreditation Audit

For those who wish to pursue the voluntary accreditation process, further information is posted on the Ontario Public Library Guidelines website and in this overview document -  Ontario Public Library Guidelines – 7th edition – The Audit Process for libraries



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