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A Holiday Ode to our Best Friend - FOPLA

Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association logo

We are coming up to the end of the year, and what better time to reflect on the incredible generosity bestowed on us by our best friend, the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA).

While you may know that FOPLA raises more then $300,000 for the Ottawa Public Library each year, mostly by selling donated used books, you may not know where that money is spent… here are a few examples of the program and branch enhancements that FOPLA funds financed this year:

  • New shelving! Some of the beautiful, new, accessible shelving you see in certain branches, like this magazine shelf at Greenboro branch, were purchased thanks to funds from FOPLA.
  • Puppets! All sorts of children’s material is essential for engaging kids in fun and inspiring Library programs. Thanks to FOPLA for making sure the OPL is so much more than books (not that we don`t love books too)!
  • New furniture and upholstery!  Comfortable chairs, and inviting spaces to sit enhance the Library experience for everyone, including teens at Ruth E. Dickinson branch, where the Teen Zone was upgraded, and the children’s area at Metcalfe branch, which received a lovely new table and chairs, both courtesy of a FOPLA donation.
  • Maker tools!  With the help of a FOPLA donation, Greenboro branch now has a 3D printing pen for its maker programming, enabling kids, teens, and adults to explore their creativity!
  • Inspiring, innovative, and educational programs! FOPLA helped OPL respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action by funding Indigenous author visits that increased awareness in the community about the residential school experience and Indigenous cultures and history.

    Margaret Pokiak-Fenton and Christy Jordan-Fenton                   Darrel J. McLeod and Tom Wilson

FOPLA  has also funded numerous author visits; and sponsors the annual  Awesome Authors Youth Writing Contest, helps support food literacy programming, and much more. Here is an overview of what FOPLA has funded in the past years.

These examples are but a small fraction of what FOPLA funds enable us to offer the best experience for OPL customers and truly fulfill our mission to inspire learning, spark curiosity, and connect people.

Since a gift to FOPLA is a gift to all OPL customers, you might wish to share in the holiday spirit of generosity and good cheer by lending your support to our best friend. Here is what you can do:

Happy holidays to you and yours, and to FOPLA and all its amazing volunteers!