Increased focus on children’s programs and resources in Ontario’s public Libraries
TORONTO, March 16, 2011 — The Ontario Public Library Association (OPLA), has published its’ Children’s Services Benchmarks and Statistical Report. The previous report on children’s services in public libraries was released in 2004. A comparison of survey results reveals an increased emphasis on children’s services in public libraries. For example:
- Increased spending on children’s materials
- Increased access to technology and electronic resources for children
- Improved development of safety policies for children such as internet access and use and unattended children.
“The OPLA Child and Youth Services Committee conducts the survey every few years so that libraries can compare their services against other, similar library systems. The goal is to provide data that will help Ontario’s public libraries plan the best services possible for our young customers and their families,” comments Alicia Subnaik-Kilgour, committee chair.
The survey also looked at which agencies public libraries work with in deploying children’s services into the local community. After schools, libraries serving populations fewer than 100,000 are more likely to partner with Ontario Early Years Centres, preschools, daycares, and colleges. In communities greater than 100,000, public libraries partner more often with preschools, daycares, social service agencies and health units.
Public libraries that participated have continued access to the online survey tool created by Counting Opinions. The tool enables one library to generate unique reports and compare its’ services against a similar library.
Electronic copies of the Children’s Services Benchmarks and Statistical Report are freely available from OPLA’s web site at:
The Ontario Public Library Association (OPLA) is a division of the Ontario Library Association, and provides advocacy, networking, and professional development opportunities for more than 1,000 members who work in or with Ontario’s public libraries. The OPLA Child and Youth Services Committee promote excellence in library services for children and youth by developing programs and resources to support Ontario’s public libraries.
Contact: Alicia Subnaik-Kilgour, Chair, OPLA Child and Youth Services committee