Ontario government announces shortlist for Public Library Service Awards

    Ontario Public Library Week Runs October 15-21, 2007

    TORONTO, Oct. 15 /CNW/ - This year's Ontario Public Library Week and
Canadian Library Month theme is THE WORLD AT YOUR FINGERTIPS. Libraries are
essential community hubs and - thanks to new technologies - now connect
residents and communities to the global information network. This year's theme
acknowledges the crucial role libraries play in promoting literacy, learning
and knowledge in a global community context. Nine library projects have been
named as finalists for the 2007 Ontario Public Library Service Awards.
    The Ontario government created the Public Library Service Awards in 1985
to identify, promote and celebrate public library service ideals.

    There are two types of awards:

    -   The Minister's Award for Innovation, which recognizes new ideas in
        public library service; and,

    -   The Angus Mowat Award of Excellence, which recognizes excellence in
        public library service.

    The shortlist candidates for this year's Minister's Award for Innovation

    -   Brock Township Public Library Board - for the Equi-Pass Program which
        provides low-cost digital learning opportunities to enhance
        employment skills for rural residents, many of whom lack access to
        local learning centres and high-speed internet;

    -   Hastings Highlands Public Library - for a Mobile Library project
        which provides access to programs and services to rural residents who
        lack transportation and are not able to otherwise visit the library,
        including many pre-schoolers and seniors;

    -   Kanhiote Tyendinaga Territory Public Library - for Our Way Forward:
        Advocacy Toolkit, a training resource for First Nation public
        librarians to build awareness of their libraries among their chiefs
        and councils, potential funders and other stakeholders;

    -   London Public Library - for LOLLYPOP, a program to increase the
        literacy and leadership skills of youth through creative expression
        and community building; and,

    -   Sault Ste. Marie Public Library - for Community Corner Family
        Storytime which provides children and their families in low-income
        areas with barrier-free access to literacy programs in a supportive

    The shortlist candidates for this year's Angus Mowat Award of Excellence

    -   Seguin Township Public Library Board - for its recent expansion
        project, increased collections, new computer and training area, and
        introduction of a ServiceOntario site;

    -   Pelham Public Library - for teen programs Fahrenheit 451: Freedom to
        Read and Harry Potter and the All-Nighter Party, which both promote
        reading and awareness of censorship through basic technology,
        including websites and blogs;

    -   Port Hope Public Library - for its Open a BOOK, Open a BUSINESS
        initiative to develop, expand and promote library resources to the
        local business and agricultural communities; and,

    -   St. Catharines Public Library Board - represents 12 Niagara region
        library systems that partnered to create a Reading Series to promote
        local authors, libraries, and the related arts of reading, writing
        and thinking.

    The winners of the 2007 Public Library Service Awards will be announced
at the Ontario Library Association's annual Super Conference in February 2008.

    The Ontario government invests more than $28.4 million annually in
Ontario's public and First Nations libraries, to ensure that all Ontarians
have access to library programs and services. The government invested an
additional $15 million in 2005/06 and $5 million in 2006/07 to help libraries
promote literacy, provide access to digital resources and improve services in
northern and First Nations libraries.
    Last year, over 66 million people visited Ontario's public libraries,
circulating more than 100 million items. More than 2.2 million Ontarians
participated in library programs. Ontarians are encouraged to enjoy and
celebrate the many events, programs and services at their local public
libraries during Ontario Public Library Week and Canadian Library Month.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Guy Lepage, Communications Branch, (416)

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