Ontario Investing in Public Libraries

Ontario is investing $1.6 million to support 10 projects in public libraries across the province that will improve services for Ontarians.

Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, made the announcement today at the Milton Public Library, which is receiving a grant of $169,000 over two years.   “We are delighted that we are one of 10 libraries that awarded this grant,” Mark Williams, Milton Public Library spokesman said.

Sport, Tourism & Culture Minister Michael Coteau

The library will partner with the Town of Milton, Conservation Halton and Halton Culture Services to create a virtual hub that uses gaming and social media applications to engage the public and promote programs and services.  The project is divided into phases.  The first will be dedicated to developing the new branch library as a part of a new community centre at Tremaine Rd, and Main St.  “By creating a truly flexible and integrated space the hope is that the community centre can facilitate access to the widest range of services provided by both partners,” Williams said.

Phase two will take it from physical to virtual.  The Library hopes to develop a web-based complementary hub incorporating gaming, and social media technologies.  “We will be able to directly engage with our patrons,” Williams explained.  Every time patrons take part in a program or service it result in advancement through a featured game.  The more points gained the more chances to win incentives.

The investments are part of the Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund, a $10 million program to help public libraries support strong, vibrant communities and better meet the changing needs of Ontarians. The fund supports new projects that can be adapted to suit the needs of other communities and have the potential for a positive impact on public libraries across the province and the people they serve.