An OPL staff member and customer enjoying a book together on a park bench
Every 2.5 seconds an item was borrowed or renewed at OPL

Vision - To build community and transform lives.

Mission - We inspire learning, spark curiosity, and connect people.

Three infographics, text in caption.
We responded to 592,000 inquiries, satisfying our customers’ curiosity for everything from reading recommendations to branch hours! - We provided 238,000 one-on-one tutorials, helping many of customers learn something new about everything from eBooks to booking meeting rooms! - We shared 306,000 conversations with OPL customers, actively building community, about everything from their favourite book to parenting tips!"

OPL Board Members

OPL Board

Councillor Tim Tierney (Chair)

Kathy Fisher (Vice-Chair)

Steven Begg

Councillor Riley Brockington

Mary-Rose Brown

Allan Higdon

Councillor Matthew Luloff

Councillor Carol Anne Meehan

Harvey A. Slack

Tim Tierney

A Message from Tim Tierney, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board and Councillor for Beacon Hill-Cyrville

2019 has been an eventful and memorable year for the OPL Board and for me.

I am very excited about the new Ottawa Public Library-Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility, and the milestones we have achieved this year on this project. Unprecedented numbers of residents participated in public engagement initiatives about the design of the facility. Thousands gave their input, in person and online, regarding how the facility should look, feel, and be experienced – and what the facility should be to Ottawa residents and Canadians alike. This has underscored the power of public libraries, and the impacts they have on their customers – they are, and always will be, pillars in the community. I can hardly wait to see what the next chapter brings for this monumental municipal-federal project.

Another major development in 2019 was the Rosemount Revitalization Project. The final design of the improved branch was unanimously approved by the OPL Board in February of 2019, and construction began in August. This much-loved branch is a major hub in the Hintonburg community, and we were pleased to open a temporary location on Wellington Street West while the branch is being improved. I am looking forward to the branch reopening in 2020 when construction is complete.

OPL again joined with other Canadian libraries to advocate for fair library pricing and accessibility to digital content through the #eContentForLibraries campaign in 2019. Libraries across Canada asked library supporters to make their voices heard and demand better pricing from multinational publishers. Digital content is the fastest growing area for public libraries. Spending by Canada’s largest urban libraries increased by more than 45 per cent since 2014 and continues to grow. I am glad to see that thousands endorsed the campaign, which resulted in initial talks with one multinational publisher, Penguin Random House Canada.

OPL provides so much to our Ottawa residents. I have seen first-hand how the Library builds community and transforms lives. I am a tireless advocate for libraries, and I am proud of OPL’s achievements in 2019.

A Message from Danielle McDonald, Chief Executive Officer

This year, OPL customers showed their appreciation for library services by coming to programs, championing OPL on social media, giving feedback about their library experience, and, especially, by using the myriad of resources and collections to enhance their own lives and communities. All these activities made 2019 a rewarding and uplifting year for our organization.

It was truly inspiring to see Ottawa residents come together to provide feedback on the design of the future Ottawa Public Library-Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility. This project fully engaged Ottawans in the design process, but also engaged OPL and LAC employees, the Algonquin Anishinabe host nation, and Canadians nationwide. More than 4,000 people were involved in this year’s Inspire555 series - named for the facility’s new address at 555 Albert Street. They shared their thoughts about the facility’s shape, the flow of its interior spaces, and its indoor character; they also provided input into the landscape design, the public art, and the importance of accessibility and sustainability in the project. Thanks to this robust engagement process, the facility will be a beautiful, welcoming, and inclusive space that will reflect our city and country, and benefit our community for generations to come. The detailed design development phase continues in 2020, and by spring 2021, we hope to have shovels in the ground at the site.

This coming year, OPL will be rolling out its new Strategic Plan to guide its work from 2020 to 2023. I’m very proud to say that this Plan came together in 2019 through a two-year process that included an environmental scan, an analysis of trends and drivers, extensive community and employee engagement, and strategic planning sessions with our Board of Trustees. The new Strategic Plan builds on the same vision and mission we have been working with since 2014, but now has one overarching Strategic Statement that will focus our priorities over the next four years: Increase the number of cardholders by 25 per cent by the end of 2023. We believe this ambitious, yet achievable, goal is something that every employee, branch, and department within OPL can help achieve. We also believe that focusing on this goal will help us increase the Library’s impact in the community. You can read the full Strategic Plan on the OPL website.

To align with the new Strategic Plan and respond to evolving community needs, we undertook a restructuring at the senior management level in 2019. The new portfolios include Customer Experience, Branch Operations, Corporate Services, Central Library Project, Major Gifts and Partnerships, and Board and Strategic Services. A key new role that has been added is OPL’s fundraising arm, Major Gifts and Partnerships. I am eager to work with my team to advance our Strategic Statement and to keep growing the impact and value of OPL.

We began a new term of the Board this year. We welcomed back returning members of the Board, including our Chair, Councillor Tim Tierney, our Vice-Chair Kathy Fisher, and Trustees Steven Begg and Allan Higdon. We also welcomed new Trustees: Councillors Riley Brockington, Matthew Luloff, and Carol-Anne Meehan, and Trustees Mary-Rose Brown and Harvey A. Slack. We are fortunate to be able to rely on the extensive expertise and passion for the Library of all Board members.

I look forward to another productive and inspiring year ahead!

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Danielle McDonald

OPL Senior Management

Danielle McDonald,
Chief Executive Officer

Anna Basile, Division Manager,
Governance, Communications, and Strategic Services

Donna Clark, Division Manager,
Branch Operations

Craig Ginther, Acting Division Manager,
Central Library Project

Catherine Seaman, Division Manager,
Branch Operations

Michael Poliwoda, Program Manager,
Major Gifts and Partnerships

Alexandra Yarrow, Program Manager,
OPL Board and Strategic Services

* Until August 2019

Monique E. Désormeaux,
Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Monique Brûlé, Division Manager,
Programs and Services

A man and boy enjoying a book together
4.18 million in-person visits * 5.14 million items moved between branches


OPL-LAC Joint Facility Project

In 2019, OPL initiated a historic year-long engagement process about this project, in partnership with Library and Archives Canada (LAC). The consultation asked OPL customers, staff, Ottawa residents, Indigenous communities, and all Canadians to provide input into the design of a dynamic and inclusive OPL-LAC Joint Facility. The Inspire555 engagement series, which included design workshops, pop-up events, and online engagement activities, was an exceptional success. More than 4,000 people participated in-person and online to inspire all aspects of the facility, inside and out.

Speaker at podium in front of audience

Rosemount branch revitalization project

The final design of the revitalized Rosemount branch was tabled at OPL’s February Board meeting, and the feedback received was extremely positive. A temporary location then opened early in the summer, to the delight of the community who benefitted from uninterrupted local OPL service. Employees continued their work with community organizations and delivered programming in outdoor and indoor spaces around the neighbourhood. Local artist Dan Martelock was selected to produce the public art installation for the renovated branch; Library staff held art workshops with local children to create pieces to be used in the public art. Construction on the 101-year-old library building, Ottawa’s only remaining Carnegie branch, started in August and is set to reopen in 2020.

Architect's rendering of Rosemount branch renovations

Hours of Operation

A commitment to customer experience, and continuous improvement, is always vitally important to OPL. In 2019, following a customer survey and a report, the Board approved improvements to branch hours of operation in locations where improvements could be made with minimal budgetary impact. These included:

  • Additional Sunday hours during the month of June (2019)

  • Optimizing hours at OPL’s rural branches, making their schedules more consistent and more convenient for customers (implemented in early 2020)

  • Additional Friday morning hours at the Ruth E. Dickinson branch (implemented in 2020)

Library branch interior

eContent Advocacy

Alongside other Canadian libraries and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC), OPL continued to advocate for fair library pricing and access to eContent. The #eContentForLibraries campaign aims to raise awareness of the issues facing Canadian public libraries, engage public libraries – and their customers – across the country, and encourage multinational publishers to open a dialogue with public libraries. The OPL Board was able to secure Ottawa City Council’s endorsement for a motion in support of OPL and CULC’s sustained advocacy efforts. More than 22,000 people visited the website to find out more, and thousands engaged on social media. This campaign resulted in one multinational publisher, Penguin Random House Canada, reaching out to CULC and agreeing to collaborate on future initiatives. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, along with many mayors and leaders from Canada and the United States, signed the Statement on Equitable Public Access to eBooks demonstrating support for public libraries in the fight for equitable eBook pricing and access. OPL also contributed to outreach initiatives aimed at Canadian federal election candidates to make them aware of the lack of access for public libraries to eContent.

A selection of ebooks
Canadian libraries can't access enough eAudiobooks.

Expansion of the Musical Instrument Lending Library

Music literacy is a key area where the Library can enhance lives and support life-long learning. In 2019 alone, there were more than 1,800 loans on musical instruments and approximately 1,950 people attended musical literacy programming. OPL expanded the Sun Life Musical Instrument Lending Library this year, from the existing two branches, Main and Nepean Centrepointe, to four branches, adding Greenboro and Cumberland. This expansion makes this creative resource more easily available to OPL customers in the East and South parts of the City.

A young girl playing a violin

New Strategic Plan

The 2020-2023 OPL Strategic Priorities were finalized in 2019, a collaboration between the community, OPL employees, and the OPL Board. For the first time, OPL has one overarching goal to attain in the next four years: a goal that is measurable, ambitious, yet achievable – to increase the number of active cardholders by 25 per cent by the end of 2023. OPL values were developed and approved by the OPL Board in June of 2019: community, inclusion, integrity, intellectual freedom, and literacy. The Plan also identifies three directions to support the achievement of the overarching goal: redesign the Library experience, build organizational capacity, and promote the value of the Library.

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An illustration of a group of people

highlights from the collection in various formats
OPL's most popular

With more than 1.85 Million items in our collection, Ottawans had a wide variety of options to choose from for their reading, research, and entertainment pleasure. Here are some of the most popular items from 2019.

  • Adult Book – Becoming, by Michelle Obama

  • Teen Book – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han

  • Children Book – Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball, by Jeff Kinney

  • eBook – Becoming, by Michelle Obama

  • eAudiobook – You Are a Badass®: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero

  • eMagazine – New Yorker

  • eNewspaper – Ottawa Citizen

  • Streamed movie – 3 Days of Condor

  • Graphic novel – Sabrina, by Nick Drnaso

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A presenter holding a microphone as a second presenter looks on
14,717 programs offered * 296,386 program attendees

Key Accomplishments - Services that are customer centric

Act as a catalyst for exploration and discovery

  • Expanded Indigenous programming to create greater discoverability of Indigenous authors, artists, and stories with:

    • A bilingual Indigenous Film Series

    • A book launch for Tâwaw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine by Shane M. Chartrand, as well as school visits and bannock-making workshops with the author

    • A workshop with author Cole Pauls on creating comics

    • 12 visits in local primary and secondary schools from author Aviaq Johnston

    • Performances by musical duo Twin Flames and gatherings with an Indigenous storyteller at the Tales & Tunes signature event

    • A visit by author Karen McBride to the Urban Aboriginal Alternate High School Program

    • An Indigenous Writers Gathering event in partnership with Library and Archives Canada and the Ottawa International Writers Festival

    • Workshops by Indigenous Experiences for students at Assumption Catholic Elementary School and York Street School.

    • Outreach programs offered at a centre serving Indigenous people experiencing homelessness which included programming with an Indigenous storyteller as well as an Indigenous rattle-maker.

  • Delivered a series of special programs in retirement communities across the city, where residents were thrilled to have a chance to discover and interact with local authors such as Charlotte Gray and David McGee.

  • Launched a page on the OPL website that highlights OPL’s Most Requested, allowing customers to discover new collection items and be inspired by what is popular in Ottawa.

Provide physical and digital collections that are responsive to customer demands and community needs

  • Added a new, more expansive French eBook platform (Cantook Station).

  • Expanded accessibility to popular digital resources such as the New York Times, The Economist, and National Geographic in response to customer requests.

  • Renewed OPL’s commitment to the much-loved Interlibrary Loan service with other Ontario libraries by absorbing delivery costs after the province-wide Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) funding cuts.

  • Added a Spanish eBook and eAudiobook collection in the form of a Spanish Reading Room on OPL’s Overdrive platform.

  • Revitalized accessible collections by:

    • adding new Braille books, and

    • making new improved multi-media and multi-sensory Actiphile kits, which are used with customers experiencing dementia to stimulate memories and generate group discussion.

Enhance the customer experience by leveraging best practices and technology

  • Deployed RFID wands in branches to assist in scanning the shelves, enabling employees to get materials to customers in a more timely manner.

  • Upgraded public PCs at all 33 OPL branches to a Windows 10 operating system. The upgrades give the public easier access to the internet and related desktop programs. They also offer wider accessibility and language preference options.

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A man watching a 3-D printer
7,162 hours booked Imagine Space equipment * 18,144 Imagine Space Visits

Spaces for community, collections, and creation

Develop an inclusive, dynamic Central Library enabling creation and learning

  • Completed the schematic design of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Joint Facility with the input of the public, staff, and Indigenous communities.

  • Held 10 in-person design workshops and four online activities through the Inspire 555 public engagement series in which more than 4,000 people participated.

  • Engaged in conversations with Algonquin Anishinaabe host communities, who offered input on all aspects of the facility. Engagement with Indigenous communities is ongoing and will continue to inform the design of the central library, inside and out.

  • Presented floorplans of the OPL-LAC Joint Facility to the City of Ottawa’s Accessibility Advisory Committee for feedback. Independent reviews by an accessibility expert took place during the design process, and conversations with accessibility stakeholders are ongoing. Universal accessibility is a key design objective of the OPL-LAC Joint Facility, and the goal is to build the most accessible building in the National Capital Region.

  • Held Community Conversations with stakeholders and groups at risk of exclusion to inform the planning of the spaces, services, and programs of the new central library. These conversations will continue as the facility design evolves. The goal is to create a safe, inclusive, accessible, and functional environment for all.

Sustain collaborative and flexible physical spaces across the Library system

  • Completed shelving-height-reduction projects at Manotick, Munster, Richmond, Blackburn Hamlet, and Hazeldean branches. Reducing the height of shelving enhances the appearance and functionality of shared spaces, opens up the branch to more natural light, and improves wayfinding and security for customers and employees.

  • Continued to replace aging lounge and reading chairs across the system, as well as meeting room chairs. The new chairs are ergonomic, durable, and easily cleaned. In total, 12 branches were outfitted with 96 new lounge chairs, and 10 branches were outfitted with 335 meeting room chairs.

  • Replaced the ventilation system in OPL’s Imagine Space to improve the safe removal of exhaust from the laser cutters. This also improved the air quality inside the branch.

Design virtual spaces for creation and sharing

  • Participated in the first-ever Canada-wide digital book club, One eRead Canada, which gave participants access to a copy of the Canadian eBook Glass Beads by Indigenous author, Dawn Dumont, for one month (without the need to log into electronic resources), where readers could share ideas and discuss online.

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A woman and child making a cardboard model of a bookmobile.
12.5 million website visits * 2.66 million downloads and streams

Success through learning, literacy, and innovation

Strengthen and promote the Library’s reach and value

  • Led the 2019 Library Month Campaign, which engaged thousands of people in person and online, to learn about and promote OPL’s services. This year’s campaign activities consisted of giving away and hiding Golden Tickets in all OPL branches, as well as communities across Ottawa. The goal was to promote OPL, engage Ottawans on social media, and entice people to discover the Library. Every Golden Ticket was redeemable at any OPL branch or Bookmobile for a useful and attractive fanny pack, handmade locally by social enterprise EcoEquitable. OPL gained almost three times the average number of Instagram followers during October than in any other month in 2019 and engaged hundreds of others online and in branches.

  • Organized numerous author events, featuring Cecil Foster, Monique Bégin, Mark Critch, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, Ken Dryden, Beverly McLachlin, Veronica Roth, Courtney Summers, Dominique Demers, and Marie-Lousie Gay. These events helped broaden OPL’s reach into communities across Ottawa.

  • Participated in citizenship ceremonies in community centres in underserved neighbourhoods, in order to provide a pop-up Library card registration clinic. We also offered free and simple Library card registration assistance at OPL events around the community.

  • Introduced the Career Reboot Group, a program targeting job seekers, featuring sessions about career coaching, networking, interviews, and one-on-one help with resumes.

  • Presented a successful writing and poetry workshop series in the fall, which provided in-depth, hands-on practice with published local writers and poets.

  • Purchased outreach kits for branches, which included OPL-branded banners, tablecloths, and tents, among other items, to support staff with community outreach initiatives.

  • Offered outreach programming to a day shelter for women experiencing homelessness, which included programs on playing a musical instrument and crafting.

  • Offered outreach programming to a centre that serves precariously housed men. Worked with the centre to host a vernissage at the Main branch featuring artworks created by the users of the centre.

  • Visited the Mission and Salvation Army to connect with users of those services and to promote OPL’s services.

Foster community partnerships

  • Partnered with Ottawa Public Health, the Council on Aging of Ottawa and Compassionate Ottawa to provide Aging Well Together. This initiative was developed in response to identified needs among the growing older adult population. A web portal with digital stories, videos, and blog posts was created to provide insights and resources in a captivating way on topics such as brain health, caregiving, finances, active living, and social inclusion. Many interactive programs were delivered and very well-received, such as gentle exercises, memory fitness, and song circles.

  • Partnered with NU Grocery Inc. to present Introduction to the Zero Waste Lifestyle programs for adults. OPL was one of the first organizations in Ottawa to offer this partnered program.

  • Partnered with Canada Revenue Agency through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) to provide 238 hours of free tax preparation assistance for individuals. More than 100 tax returns were filed for qualifying residents of Ottawa with modest incomes and simple tax situations through this program.

  • Worked in collaboration with a local senior’s residence close to the Rockcliffe Park branch and local musician/storyteller Sebastien Lemay to develop a Reader-in-Residence series for residents with dementia. At each session, Sebastien read short stories by authors Mary Cook and Stuart McLean, using music, songs and storytelling techniques to animate the words for listeners. He engaged the audience by drawing out links in the written works to the lives of his audience and made the readings fun and interactive through clapping, repetition of sentences, and singing.

  • Partnered with Orleans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre (OCCRC) and Caring and Sharing Exchange to host local school supply drives which help low-income families equip children for school.

Align Library services in support of customer needs

  • Established a temporary location for the Rosemount branch at 1207 Wellington Street West in the busy heart of Hintonburg to provide library services to the neighbourhood while the branch is closed for revitalization.

  • Launched a monthly Memory Café at the Stittsville branch for customers with dementia and their care partners. Fun and stimulating mental activities were planned to promote enjoyment and social interactions, and to build connections within the group. Light snacks and warm drinks were served alongside items that aim to spark conversations and reminiscing.

  • Offered popular DIY workshops: bath bombs, kombucha, art therapy, and fermentation workshops, in response to current trends and interests of people in the community.

  • Participated in the One Book One School program, helping students connect reading to real-life experiences by providing classroom book sets and delivering related programming.

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A family selecting items on a bookmobile
12.4 million items borrowed * 3.45 million holds placed

Customers’ Experiences

"For a couple of months this year, I used the library’s internet to check Email, Facebook, and job applications. Now, I work at a job I just love. Thanks for being there OPL when things were tough. The public library: Not just books!"

"OPL is so great. I can’t imagine how I’d be able to be a writer and a reader without it."
"My six-month-old and I attended Babytime in Parkdale Park this summer. We really enjoyed ourselves. Staff was great at leading the group, welcoming newcomers and ensuring that adults had the time and space to interact."

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"I love coming to this branch with my daycare children, I have been coming for about five years on a weekly basis. The librarians here are so welcoming and helpful, they go out of their way to find materials for us and make suggestions for my varying age groups. The circle times are fabulous, we love storytimes!"
"I am a long retired professional engineer living in Vars trying with increasing difficulty to keep abreast of technical developments in downloading library books. I asked for help at the branch yesterday and was given a most masterful and complete tutorial by your librarian. This is to let you know how much I appreciate what your branch has done to make reading easier and, in my case, possible for seniors."
"Libraries continue to serve such an important role as a curated space for public reading and (quiet) togetherness."

A smiling staff member in front of two customers
1.86 million items in the collection * 681.629 public workstation sessions

Thank You

Ottawa Public Library would like to thank and recognize the individuals and organizations who generously gave their support in 2019, either through donation or by partnering with OPL to deliver programs or services.

  • A.P.E. Bingo Horizon-Jeunesse
  • Andrea Mein Memorial Fund
  • Association des auteures et auteurs de l’Ontario français
  • Bank of Montreal
  • British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
  • BTC Environmental Inc.
  • Business Development Bank of Canada
  • Canada Aviation and Space Museum
  • Canada Revenue Agency
  • Canada Science and Technology Museum
  • Canadian Children’s Book Centre
  • Canadian Urban Libraries Council
  • Carleton University – Faculty of Engineering and Design and Faculty of Science
  • Carlingwood Mall
  • CBC Ottawa
  • CECCE - Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est
  • Meridian Theatres at Centrepointe
  • Chartered Professional Accountants Canada
  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • City of Ottawa
  • City of Ottawa Museums
  • Club Optimiste de Vanier
  • CNIB Ottawa
  • Coles Bookstore #534
  • Communication jeunesse
  • Compassionate Ottawa
  • Council on Aging of Ottawa
  • Équipe de Gestion Corporative du CCIE
  • First Words / Premier mots
  • Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association
  • Frontier College
  • Good Companions Seniors’ Centre
  • Great Canadian Theatre Company
  • In-TAC Accounting and Taxation Services
  • Invest Ottawa
  • Library and Archives Canada
  • Loblaws Carlingwood Mall
  • Manotick Kiwanis
  • Multicultural Arts for Schools and Communities
  • Munster Community Association
  • National Arts Centre
  • Nouvelle Scène
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Ontario Genealogical Society (Ottawa branch)

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  • Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport
  • Orleans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre
  • Ottawa Art Gallery
  • Ottawa Asian Heritage Society
  • Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
  • Ottawa Community Coalition for Literacy
  • Ottawa Community Foundation
  • Ottawa Community Loan Fund
  • Ottawa Fire Services
  • Ottawa International Writers Festival
  • Ottawa Neighbourhood Study
  • Ottawa PC Users Group
  • Ottawa Public Health
  • Parks Canada
  • People, Words and Change
  • Prosper Canada
  • Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la Capitale nationale
  • Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité
  • Rockcliffe Park Spring Book Sale
  • Rogers TV
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Royal Canadian Legion - Bells Corners Branch 593
  • Service Ontario Employment Centres
  • SmartLibrary
  • Southern Ontario Library Service
  • St. Lawrence College Employment Services
  • TD Canada Trust
  • TVOntario
  • United Way
  • University of Ottawa – Faculty of Engineering
  • University of Ottawa Library
  • Village Quire
  • Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health
  • War Amps
  • West Carleton Arts Society
  • World Skills
  • WPBS-TV (Watertown)
  • Young Authors and Illustrators Conference
  • Youth Active Media
  • Youth Services Bureau

72 Online databases and eRsources * 18,328 hours of employee training
72 Online databases and eRsources * 18,328 hours of employee training

A Word from the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association

Message from the President, Vlad Uher

2019 was an excellent year for the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA), as we continued our mission to lead a community of friends in support of Ottawa Public Library (OPL).

FOPLA has worked hard in recent years to increase the impact of our fundraising and advocacy activities across our Ottawa-wide community of supporters. Thanks to our remarkable volunteers, who are our best and most valuable front-line advocates, our used bookstores across the city continue to grow our support of OPL every year.

Our monthly Mammoth Sale in Nepean has also become hugely popular, and in 2019 we expanded our product offerings to include vinyl records. Our first Vinyl Record Sale in September was a resounding success and generated over $7,000 in one day. Pre-opening lineups are also common at the Mammoth Sale, and a feasibility study is being undertaken to possibly expand the Mammoth Sale east in future.

We are proud to say these efforts saw us give our largest donation ever of $410,000 to OPL in 2019. These funds help enhance OPL’s spaces and services with purchases of new furniture, materials, collection items, refreshed areas, and by sponsoring programming such as the Awesome Authors youth writing contest.

We look forward to the upcoming developments at OPL and its community of friends in 2020 and beyond. We are more committed than ever to growing as a key supporter of the wonderful work done by the Library.


  • FOPLA donated $410,000 to OPL in 2019, which is once again our largest donation to date!

  • FOPLA funds donated to OPL in 2019 were used to purchase furniture such as lounge chairs, and supported programming such as the Tales and Tunes Family Fun Day, special performances during the TD Summer Reading Club, and the monthly Croisée des mots for francophone readers.

  • FOPLA sponsored OPL’s Awesome Authors youth writing contest and published the winning entries in the thirteenth edition of the pot-pourri anthology.

  • FOPLA was proud to sponsor programming designed in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Calls to Action, including the well-attended Indigenous film series and the visit of Indigenous author and chef, Shane Chartrand.

For more details on how to get involved or donate to FOPLA, visit

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Statement of Revenue and Expenditures

At the end of the 2019 fiscal year, OPL closed its financial books in a surplus. The $256,724 surplus is due in large part to expenditures that were lower than anticipated in compensation, purchased services, and materials and supplies. 2019 revenues were closer to achieving the planned target than in 2018. A special thank you to the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA), the Ottawa Community Foundation, and numerous corporate and private donors whose efforts and financial support offset material and supply expenditures. Donations and proceeds from trust funds also help to offset programming costs and augment the acquisition of furniture and various supplies and equipment. All these generous contributions help to enhance customer experiences at OPL.


Revenues (In Dollars)



City of Ottawa

$ 45,171,262

$ 47,666,775

Fines and Other Fees

$ 1,128,765

$ 1,113,354

Province of Ontario

$ 1,449,484

$ 1,380,328


$ 325,000

$ 0

Rental Income

$ 380,146

$ 93,671

Total Revenues

$ 48,454,657

$ 50,254,128


Actual Expenditures



Salaries & Benefits

$ 34,828,723

$ 36,694,924

Library Materials

$ 5,205,372

$ 5,314,572

Purchased Services

$ 1,769,529

$ 2,171,611

Materials & Supplies

$ 2,117,074

$ 1,945,672

Program Facility Costs

$ 4,533,959

$ 4,127,349

Total Expenditures

$ 48,454,657

$ 50,254,128

Year-End compared to Budget Surplus / (Deficit)

$ 36,987

$ 256,724

*Please note: the Annual Report does not represent the official annual financial report which is issued separately pending the annual audit.

Ottawa Public Library

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