Ontario Library Association

The Ontario Library Association (OLA) is Ontario's oldest and largest library association. The association provides opportunity for people in the library sector to associate, meet, share experience and expertise, and create innovative solutions in a constantly changing environment.

The OLA leads the planning for Ontario Public Library Week and Ontario’s participation in Canadian Library Month. Public libraries, dedicated librarians, staff and volunteers across the province plan special activities to celebrate Ontario Public Library Week. Many public libraries also celebrate Canadian Library Month.

Ontario Library Service

The Ontario Library Service provides a wide range of support programs and services to public libraries throughout Ontario, excluding Toronto, on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Its mandate is to:

  • increase cooperation and coordination among public library boards and other information providers
  • promote the provision of library services to the public by assisting public library boards with services and programs that reflect their needs, including consulting, training and development services

Ontario Public Library Guidelines

The Ontario Public Library Guidelines provide public libraries of all sizes with a development framework, help in planning processes, improved accountability to taxpayers, equity of access to information for the public and secured funding.

They were developed and directed by the Ontario public library community to improve the quality of public library service across the province and address recommendations of the 1990 Ontario Public Library Strategic Plan by:

  • improving our public library infrastructure so it connects libraries and enhances local service
  • ensuring a uniform and strong public library infrastructure
  • making a comprehensive improvement process available to public libraries that do not meet guideline requirements
  • developing a voluntary accreditation process that recognizes the achievement of public libraries that meet guideline requirements

To earn a Certificate of Accreditation, a library's peers must evaluate it on guideline points (such as policy, planning, resources, and services), and award a score of at least 90%.

The Ontario Public Library Guidelines Monitoring and Accreditation Council that directs the guidelines program includes representatives from Ontario public library organizations, the Ontario Library Service and the ministry. It is chaired by a representative from the Ontario public library community.

The minister and chair of the Ontario Public Library Guidelines Monitoring and Accreditation Council co-sign Certificates of Accreditation and Re-Accreditation. Certificates are presented at the Ontario Library Association’s annual Super Conference.

Other provinces and territories