In Ontario, public libraries are created by municipal by-laws and governed by public library boards, as outlined in the Public Libraries Act.
The OPL Board consists of nine (9) trustees: four (4) councillors and five (5) members of the public. After each municipal election, City Council appoints the Library board trustees to serve a four (4) year term, consistent with that of Council. For information about recruitment, please consult the City of Ottawa web page, “Committees and Boards - Recruitment.”
The OPL Board meets monthly, eight (8) months of the year. Meetings are typically held on the second Tuesday of the month, at 5 p.m.
The OPL Board welcomes public input and feedback on Library services. Board meetings are open to the public (except for in camera items).
Dates, agendas, and reports for upcoming regular meetings are released and available on the website five (5) calendar days prior to the meeting date.
Starting in January 2023, the OPL Board resumed in-person meetings at City Hall. Electronic access to meetings continues via Zoom or by phone for trustees, key OPL staff, and public delegations, and via OPL's YouTube channel for members of the public wishing to view the meeting. Note that the meeting is livestreamed but not currently available to watch after the meeting has ended (no recording is available). A short summary of the meeting is posted on the website within 48 hours following the meeting, and the complete draft minutes are available five calendar days before the following meeting.
Addressing the Board
Members of the public may address the Board by:
- Delegation: As per the OPL Rules of Procedure By-Law, Section 40, members of the public may make a delegation to the Board. Delegations may be made in person or electronically (either by Zoom or phone).
Delegates must provide written notice of their request to make a delegation by filling out the Request to speak form.
- Electronic delegations: Delegates who wish to attend electronically (by Zoom or phone) must submit their request by 1:00 p.m. on the day of the meeting. If a delegate wishes to attend electronically but does not have access to required technology, they may book an OPL small meeting room in advance to make their delegation. Please contact Board@BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca at least two (2) business days in advance of the meeting for more information regarding this option.
- In-person delegations: Delegates who wish to attend in person may submit their form any time before the start of the meeting; any visuals or presentations must be shared with staff by email (Board@BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca) by 1:00 p.m. on the day of the meeting.
- Communication: As per the OPL Rules of Procedure By-Law, Sections 13(5)(d) and Section 41, the CEO conducts the Board’s official correspondence as secretary and members of the public may send communications to the Board at Board@BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca. If the communication relates to an operational matter, it will be shared with the Office of the CEO for action as per delegation of authority; if the communication relates to a strategic matter, it may be shared with trustees by email or as part of a subsequent Board meeting. Please note that the sender’s name and particulars of the communication may form part of the public record.
- OPL Board Rules of Procedure By-Law
Revision approved by the Ottawa Public Library Board on November 8, 2022