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 trustees: four councillors and five members of the public. After each municipal election, City Council appoints the Library board trustees to serve a four-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 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), and the upcoming dates and agendas can be viewed on our website. Agendas and reports are released five calendar days prior to the meeting date; presentations may only be available on the day of the meeting or, in exceptional circumstances, upon request.
Board Meetings during COVID-19
Board meetings are being held virtually during the COVID-19 crisis. Please see the Agenda page for the meeting information. Presentations shown by staff during Board meetings can be viewed in either French or English by clicking on the "View" options at the top of your screen, and selecting the alternate option from the drop down menu (two employees' names will be shown).
If the virtual Board meeting is interrupted due to a power disruption, the Chair and meeting moderator will ensure that the Board still has quorum and that the meeting remains accessible to the public. If the virtual session is ended prematurely for all participants (trustees, staff and members of the public), the meeting is considered “recessed.” Please try to re-connect virtually, or by phone, using the information provided in the Agenda. If, after 15 minutes, the meeting still does not have quorum and / or members of the public are unable to participate, the Secretary will declare the meeting "adjourned.” The meeting will be re-scheduled at the earliest convenience. The rescheduled date will take into consideration the requirement for notice as per the OPL Board Rules of Procedure By-Law, and information will be posted publicly on the Library’s website.
Addressing the Board
Members of the public may address the Board in one of three ways:
- To speak about an item that is listed on the agenda, you must provide written notice of your request, setting out the particulars of the matter on which you wish to speak.
- Please fill out the Request to speak form.
- For virtual meetings, please ensure your form is submitted before 12:00 p.m. on the day of the meeting.
- For in-person meetings, you may obtain a form at the meeting or print a form and present it to the OPL Board Assistant before the meeting begins.
- All sections of the form must be completed.
- Please provide supplementary information or correspondence as may be available.
- If you have a visual presentation, please provide a copy to staff with your Request to speak form. Staff will display the presentation during your delegation, and it will also be forwarded to trustees.
- To speak about an item not listed on the agenda, you may be heard at regular meetings.
- You must provide written notice of your request and shall include the subject matter, a list of persons(s) who will be appearing before the Board, and a copy of the material that will be presented.
- Please send to Board@BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca
- Upon receipt of the written notice, the request shall be listed on the next most appropriate meeting agenda, provided the Board has jurisdiction over the subject matter outlined in the request.
If you are unable to attend a Board meeting virtually or by phone, but wish to make a public delegation, please contact the Board email to arrange for access to technology in a library branch in order to provide your delegation.
Delegations speak with permission of the Board. To ensure a respectful and productive environment, the Board will not tolerate the following:
- Speaking disrespectfully of any person;
- Using offensive words or un-parliamentary language;
- Speaking about any subject other than the subject for which they have received approval to address the Board; or
- Disobeying the Rules of Procedure By-law or a decision of the Chair.
- You may also send correspondence to Board@BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca.;
Please note that any written or verbal submissions (including your name, but excluding personal contact information) will form part of the public record and will be made available to the CEO and the public.
Revision approved by the Ottawa Public Library Board on November 3, 2020