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Official Languages

Effective February 2020


Ensuring the provision of a strong bilingual (English / French) context for all services and programs, in alignment with the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) Board Policy 020-OPLB Official Languages.


OPL’s commitment to official languages is demonstrated through the following areas of focus:

Public Services

  • Ensure customers receive services in the official language of their choice.
  • Take the necessary steps to provide the appropriate number of bilingual employees within branches and departments at all times.
  • Ensure that programs and services are offered in both official languages, and that employees familiar with the appropriate culture develop those aimed at the target audience.
  • Designate an annual amount of the materials budget to French language materials. The designated amount shall be based on the highest percentage of the following four data sets: mother tongue, home language, first official language spoken (provided by Statistics Canada) and the inclusive definition of a Francophone (provided by the Ministry of Francophone Affairs).

Public Complaints and Communication

  • Publish all corporate communications developed by the OPL and intended for the public, in both official languages.
  • Promote system-wide programs and services in both English and French, clearly indicating the language(s) in which the program / service will be offered.
  • Ensure a process for management follow up on customer complaints concerning services in the official language of their choice.
  • Prepare speaking notes for spokespersons with sections in both official languages.