Big Changes Coming to a Library Near You

Think combing the library shelves for a book is a thing of the past? Maybe it is, but here’s one way libraries are joining the 21st century and staying relevant.

The province is making what it calls the largest investment in public libraries in a generation with the aim of improving access to technology, digital services and training opportunities at public libraries.

They are boosting yearly funding for public libraries by $51 million over three years.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Daiene Vernile made the announcement on May 4.

"Ontario's public libraries are the cornerstones of our communities and play an important role in providing access to new technology and digital services,” said Vernile. “Our government is committed to investing in people across the province, and our historic support for public libraries will enhance access to new resources and opportunities to discover all that Ontario and the world have to offer."

Ontario is investing $28 million over three years to create a new Digital Public Library that will make e-books, audiobooks, digital databases and learning resources available for free to people across the province.

It is expected to be operational within three years.

In total, 300 public libraries will be supported with the money, including those in rural, remote and Indigenous communities.

“The Federation of Ontario Public Libraries welcomes Ontario's support for public and First Nation libraries,” said Stephen Abram, Executive Director of the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries. “The investment will provide sustainable, predictable funding for our trusted community institutions, empowering them with the flexibility to address immediate priorities and plan for the evolving needs of their communities."

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