Ottawa - City Council has approved the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) 2022 budget of $56.666 million, an increase of $2.335M over 2021, which includes funding for both operating and capital activities.
OPL Board Chair and Councillor for Orléans ward Matthew Luloff said: "I am pleased that Council has chosen to support decisions that will bring the benefits of the Library to more and more residents of Ottawa. This is a balanced budget that addresses OPL’s key needs and furthers the strategic plan."
The 2022 budget features a number of enhancements, increasing access to library services and reducing barriers, specifically:
- the expansion of Sunday hours in 10 OPL branches spanning the city, and the OPL InfoService contact centre, to match them with Saturday hours from September through June. This increase responds to customer requests for longer hours on Sundays, providing library services on Sunday mornings.
- funding for the provision of Library services and programming on September 30, the newly established federal statutory holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This will be the first time OPL will open on a statutory holiday and programming will align with OPL’s efforts to promote learning about the legacy of residential schools and to advance reconciliation.
- continued investment in OPL’s virtual programming, specifically the addition of one new dedicated staffing resource to focus on virtual program coordination and delivery.
- funding for investment in community development work across the city to better serve vulnerable communities.
OPL CEO Danielle McDonald said "The OPL Board and City Council’s support of this budget demonstrates their understanding of the value that library services offer to our community. The expansion of Sunday hours and the addition of public service hours on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation are initiatives that reflect our promise to listen to our customers’ needs, and speak to our commitment to Indigenous Partners on reconciliation.”
The budget also includes funding for technology, facilities, and fleet to ensure OPL’s support systems continue to operate effectively and efficiently, as well as funding aligned with the Board commitment to Ādisōke. Notably, the budget does not include increased costs for licensing and maintenance, as staff were able to find internal efficiencies to offset the pressure.