Ottawa/Queen's Park



holdsfullHon. Michael Tibollo
Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
6th Flr, 438 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 2K8
[email protected]

April 23, 2019

Dear Minister Tibollo:

As Chair of the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library Board, I am writing to share my concern about the recent news that the budget of the Southern Ontario Library Services (SOLS) has been cut by roughly 50%, and consequently interlibrary loan delivery service will permanently cease to operate in three days.

Like public libraries across Ontario, we in Owen Sound & North Grey struggle to keep up with competing demands and resource constraints while fulfilling our core mission of building generations of readers. We provide access to life-changing information, learning, and technology for those across our community who are trying to better themselves and their futures.

To assist all libraries in these endeavours, the Province of Ontario created SOLS, an agency that provides efficient resource sharing to help us stretch every dollar. SOLS exists so that the people of Ontario have equitable access to library collections and e-resources, well-informed and skilled staff, and library services that meet common standards, regardless of where they live in the province. Without SOLS, we would be unable to provide services that our community relies on. With the interlibrary loan service, SOLS facilitates fast and efficient sharing of books and other materials between libraries to increase selection and decrease duplication, through a shared database and courier network.

In 2018, the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library borrowed 2,678 resources from other libraries in Ontario and beyond. In return, we loaned 2,812 items to users beyond our library. Southern Ontario Library Service made these ILLO services possible. In addition, it is through SOLS that libraries across the province have been able to negotiate and coordinate consortia purchasing of online library products such as eBooks. We could never afford on its own to purchase a viable collection of eBooks, and instead rely on SOLS to purchase shared access through its Overdrive consortium, allowing us to provide access to over 60,000 titles at a fraction of the cost. Our library users borrowed over53,000 eBooks and other eResources in 2018.

I hope that you will reconsider this decision. It is one that disproportionately hurts smaller communities across Ontario. The cuts to Southern Ontario Library Services will have a significant impact on our library and our ability to provide much-needed services to our community.


Richard Thomas
Chair, Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library Board

Kevin Finnerty, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Bill Walker, MPP, Bruce Grey Owen Sound
Barbara Franchetto, CEO, Southern Ontario Library Service
Stephen Abram, Executive Director, Federation of Ontario Public Libraries
Shelagh Paterson, Executive Director, Ontario Library Association



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