Yesterday I had the great pleasure of participating in the first ever Library Day at Ontario’s legislature, Queen’s Park. The event was organized by the Ontario Library Association (OLA), with the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries (FOPL), and facilitated by Impact Public Affairs.
The purpose of the day was to increase awareness about the value of today’s libraries: how libraries of all types are critical for Ontario’s economic, cultural, educational and social growth.
Our Library Day group included members of the OLA Board and Advocacy Committee, who, along with members of the FOPL Board, shared a common message about the life-long services that libraries of all kinds provide for Ontarians.
During Question Period, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Coteau welcomed our delegation and introduced OLA Executive Director Shelagh Paterson, OLA Vice-President/President-Elect Jane Hilton and me (OLA President 2014) to the house.
Working in teams of three to four people each, we met with cabinet ministers, members of the legislature, and senior government officials. We asked that the needs of libraries continue to be addressed, and that decision-makers be mindful of the importance of Ontario’s libraries. The overwhelming impression of participants was that our message was well-received.
While there is much work to be done to analyze the feedback we received, our overwhelming impression was that this was a very worthwhile and productive venture. We are already hearing back from members of the legislature, and we are committed to following up on the opportunities that emerge from this our first Library Day.
OSLA President Deb Kitchener’s blog post, Talking Library at Queen’s Park, focuses on the very productive meetings held with representatives of the Ministry of Education.
Throughout the day we shared our impressions on Twitter using the hashtag #libraryday. Kim Silk has captured the stream in the Storify, below.