As Chair of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) Board, I am honoured to see, firsthand, the tremendous contribution OPL makes within our community. It inspires learning, sparks curiosity, and connects people. What I found most impressive in 2021, was OPL’s commitment to continuously improve access and services for customers. The elimination of late fees at the beginning of the year was a game changer. It was a huge step towards removing systemic barriers so that everyone, especially our most vulnerable and marginalized community members, could feel welcome and be able to access the amazing and varied resources of our public library.
COVID-19 was very much a part of our lives last year, but it was heartwarming to witness the determination of OPL staff to ensure that Library programs and services continued virtually and, when possible, in-person in branches. Service modes and levels varied with the often unpredictable waves of the pandemic; but access to OPL’s remarkable digital offerings remained constant thanks to the Library’s adaptable OPL staff.
I am extremely grateful for the dedication and professionalism shown by all employees of this organization: from the branch staff at the front lines, to the employees behind the scenes, to the leadership team, OPL continued serving customers during a tumultuous period in our city while advancing the Library’s longer-term strategic goals.
I also want to thank my fellow trustees for their considerable contributions, support and time, especially given the challenges of the pandemic. A sincere farewell to Trustee Tim Tierney, former OPL Board Chair and Councillor for Beacon Hill-Cyrville who has done remarkable work; and a warm welcome to Rawlson King, Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe. Trustee King’s commitment to the Library is second to none, and I'm confident that with his insightful input, we will continue to guide and support a strong public library for Ottawa that is there for everyone.
OPL Board Chair and Councillor for Orléans