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Give the gift of lifelong learning

November 17, 2017

This year, Oakville Public Library (OPL) will participate in the global movement of Giving Tuesday. On Tues., Nov. 28, OPL is encouraging residents in the Town of Oakville to consider giving back to their community by making a donation in support of library services and resources.

Giving Tuesday, or the National Day of Giving, was established in 2012 by two US-based organizations to celebrate the spirit of philanthropy and recognize the generosity of donors around the world.

Falling on the first Tuesday after American Thanksgiving – following the consumer observances of Black Friday and Cyber Monday – Giving Tuesday has become an international campaign that reminds individuals to give back to charities and the less fortunate amid the chaos of holiday shopping.

OPL is now joining the community of other charitable organizations across the world to help share and spread the message about the importance of giving back during the season.

Public libraries are important institutions that bring communities together by providing safe, welcoming spaces, engaging resources, and educational experiences for all.

From childhood through to the age of retirement, Oakville Public Library welcomes individuals of any ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and social status. The library is a place for everyone.

By updating its services and resources, introducing new programs and events, and by enhancing its spaces and technology, OPL continues to focus on the needs of the community and reinvest in the families that reside in Oakville.

Although the library receives government funding, its budget is only able to fulfill its basic operational needs. To continue providing invaluable opportunities for our community, the library relies on alternative funding to support the development of its programs and the enhancement of its services.

As a member of the community, you can help Oakville Public Library provide instrumental resources that make a difference in the lives of your neighbours. A gift to OPL will contribute to the success of your library and help provide additional educational opportunities.

This Giving Tuesday, give the gift of lifelong learning. Visit

Oakville Public Library introduces new hours for 2018

On October 26, 2017, the Oakville Public Library (OPL) Board of Directors supported a recommendation to reorganize the operational hours of all OPL branches, which will take effect beginning January 2, 2018. The proposed change to hours comes after an extensive analysis of data suggested a significant and increasing demand for service in OPL’s northern branches.

Using the library’s new RFID technology to record branch traffic and item circulation, in addition to data collected on program attendance, it was confirmed that over 50 per cent of its customer base utilized its Glen Abbey (GA) and Iroquois Ridge (IR) branches. Together, the GA and IR branches reflect 55 per cent of the library’s total amount of customer visits and 52 per cent of the library’s overall circulation.

The data collected from the OPL branches further demonstrates Oakville`s growing population in the north and a need for additional library service. Using this information, and by comparing the data from each branch, library staff proposed a slight modification of hours across the system, focusing on increasing hours of the branches in the north.

In total, the Glen Abbey, Iroquois Ridge, and Clearview (CV) branches will receive additional hours to help service the growing need, while the Central (CE), Woodside (WS), and White Oaks (WO) will maintain consistent service and run on a slightly condensed schedule.

The new hours will also be transitioned through the summer, eliminating the library’s previous summer schedule, but, overall, increasing the total system-wide hours of operation throughout the year, providing customers with more access to library services and simplifying the confusion around summer hours and summer staff schedules.

The increase of hours across the system relates back to the library’s goal to serve all community residents purposefully, as outlined in its current Strategic Plan. As library staff continue to work toward achieving the library’s strategic direction, the organization will undergo many enhancements – such as branch renovations and the introduction of alternative service models – to better service the Oakville community. Many exciting plans are coming down the pipeline – stay tuned to for updates on future initiatives.

For more information regarding the library’s change to hours, please click here.


Friends of the Library Annual Fall Book Sale

November 3, 2017

The Friends of the Oakville Public Library (FOL) will be hosting their annual Fall Book Sale at the Oakville Public Library’s (OPL) Central Branch Auditorium from Nov. 8-12.

The first day of the sale will be for FOL Members only, allowing individuals with memberships to gain early and exclusive access to browse through the large collections of items available this fall.

Community members have the opportunity to become a FOL Member by signing up at any of the library’s six branches and paying the annual fee of $10.

Doors will officially open to the public on Nov. 9, continuing through to the final day of the book sale on Nov. 12.

The Friends of the Oakville Public Library hold both a spring and a fall sale annually, allowing members of the Oakville community to purchase books, DVDs, and other gently used items for a minimal fee. Most books at the upcoming sale are selling for just $1.50/pound.

This past year, the Friends of the Library introduced their new Pop-Up Sale initiative. The Friends held three pop-up sales during the year – in March, July, and September – garnering approximately $5,000.

To date, the Friends of the Library book sales have raised over $525,000, which has supported numerous library resources, services, and programs like the library’s annual TD Summer Reading Club.

The next FOL book sale is scheduled to run in early next year from Feb. 28 to Mar. 4, with a pop-up sale to follow from Jun. 2-3.

Individuals who are unable to attend any FOL sale have the option of purchasing items from the ‘Friendly Finds’ bookshelves located at all branches and at the Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre.

The annual book sales have been a highlight of the library for well over 10 years, and the Friends of the Oakville Public Library look forward to welcoming the community back again this fall.

For more information on the Friends of the Oakville Public Library, and the sale, please visit

Get techy this fall with the Oakville Public Library

October 20, 2017

This fall, Oakville Public Library (OPL) will be running a series of tech-focused programming for teens and adults. From beginner to expert, OPL has many different options for tech-lovers of all learning levels.

Equipped with 3D printers at every branch, OPL continues to offer 3D learning opportunities for community members. In addition to its 3D Printer certification class, the library also runs a hands-on 3D Modelling for 3D Printing session that introduces design software and the basics of 3D modelling and printing. OPL has two more sessions this fall – on Oct. 26 and Nov. 30 – with a couple more to follow next year.

On Nov. 16, the library will be holding a 2-hour virtual reality program that includes a viewing of the TED Talk ‘VR as an Art Form,’ followed by an engaging virtual reality experience with the library’s Oculus Rift and SirsiDynix and VR cardboard headsets.

The library will be highlighting its exciting augmented reality technology later this year, which allows participants to colour and bring their artwork to life using iPads. The Colouring 2.0 program will be held on Nov. 28 at the Woodside Branch, and again on Dec. 14 at Glen Abbey.

Community members who are interested in learning how to code are encouraged to attend the library’s intergenerational An Hour of Code workshop on Dec. 10. In this free, drop-in program, library staff will introduce the basics of coding and various coding techniques. Individuals of all ages are welcome and no experience is required.

OPL will continue with its tech programming into the New Year, picking up again on Jan. 9 with an Ask the Blue Shirt Expert info-session on Smart Home Gadgets.

The following week, the library will hold a workshop on taking beautiful photos using your cellphone. Photography with your Phone runs on Jan. 13 and will teach participants how to maximize their phone’s camera and editing software.

The library will also introduce a new program early next year, which focuses on OPL’s digital resources and collections, including streaming apps for movies, books, TV series, and more. The hands-on Love My OPL info-session runs on Feb. 7, and any interested customers can register for it online.

Also in the winter, the library will have Microsoft Word (Feb. 11) and Microsoft Excel (Mar. 11) workshops, a session on filming drones and GoPros (Feb. 15), and an interactive Instagram workshop (Feb. 20).

In addition, the library runs a series of Digital Discovery with the Teen Tech Team sessions where individuals can receive tech coaching. The library only has a few more sessions left for this season – interested individuals can visit for specific dates, times, and locations.

For more information on any of the programs mentioned above, please visit

Social and educational opportunities for golden agers

October 6, 2017

Retired Oakville residents looking to socialize or learn new things can take advantage of Oakville Public Library’s (OPL) free seniors’ programming this fall.

The library runs a series of educational and entertaining events and workshops for individuals in their advancing years. From practical life safety tips to art and technology, OPL has dozens of programs for seniors to choose from this season.

This fall’s Seniors’ Series offers a wide range of topics, including driver’s license renewal, fire prevention and home safety, frauds and scams, and art, music, and politics. Most of these programs are presented by professional organizations from the community, such as the Oakville Fire Department, the Halton Regional Police Service, and Oakville Chamber Orchestra. The series runs every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Central Branch.

For individuals who are thinking about going back to work, or who are interested in volunteering for their community, OPL is running two information sessions to support their job search.

On November 1, Mark Venning – founder of Change Rangers – will present a two-hour seminar on Prospecting for Work in Later Life. In this seminar, Venning will discuss the concept of retirement, global trends and work options for individuals over the age of 55, as well as provide five important steps to prove your value at work.

OPL has also partnered with Volunteer Halton to offer assistance for community members searching for volunteer opportunities. At the Get Help Finding Volunteer Opportunities drop-in, individuals can receive one-on-one personalized help for finding the best position for their interests. There are three more session dates running this fall – November 13, November 27, and December 11 – all running from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Glen Abbey Branch.

In addition to these great events, the library is running a handful of entertainment and culture-related events that provide opportunities to get out, socialize, and have some fun.

Oakville Galleries and OPL will be holding a Seniors’ Art Workshop & Tour on November 2 that is perfect for both the avid collector and art novice. At this program, participants will enjoy an informative tour of Canadian artist Tamara Henderson’s exhibition, followed by an art-making workshop.

The library also has exciting author visits, including Ann Cleeves (Oct. 16), Jowi Taylor (Oct. 26), Alexander McCall Smith (Nov. 7), and Karen Swan (Nov. 14). Tickets are currently on sale for the first three events, while tickets for Swan’s visit will become available on Oct. 24.

The library runs so many other great programs and events for all ages – if you would like to learn more about what is available, please visit or pick up the library’s fall/winter guide.

For more information on any of the programs or events listed above, please visit

Highlighting and preserving Oakville’s history

September 22, 2017

Oakville Public Library’s (OPL) Local and Family History department is working on some exciting ventures to highlight and preserve the Town of Oakville’s history, as well as encourage community members to take interest in their own family history.

The season starts with OPL’s annual photo project on Sep. 23. A Day in the Life of Oakville is an engaging community initiative that invites residents to take photos of the town throughout the day and submit them into a gallery as historical documents.

Oakville is celebrating many significant anniversaries this year, including Canada’s sesquicentennial, the 50th anniversary of OPL’s Central Branch (Centennial Building), and the 40th anniversary of the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts, which are great subjects for participants to focus on and capture memories. Submission details for A Day in the Life of Oakville will be available online starting Sep. 23 and photos will be accepted from Sep. 23 to Sep. 30.

In light of the library’s upcoming anniversary, a free, all-ages celebration will be held on Dec. 2 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Central Branch Auditorium. More details about this event will become available on the library’s website.

OPL will hold its First Annual Family History Fair later this fall. Fair attendees will have the opportunity to drop in and speak with historical and genealogical groups and family history product vendors, as well as pre-register for free workshops with genealogical speakers. The event will run on Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and take place at the Queen Elizabeth Park Community & Cultural Centre.

The library has also recently released a series of videos focusing on moments in Oakville’s history. The initiative is helping to spread awareness about Oakville’s extensive lineage and share information on interesting historical events, organizations, and monuments. Six Oakville Heritage Moments are currently available to view on OPL’s YouTube page.

In addition to these special projects and events, OPL will be holding a great lineup of information sessions and workshops on genealogy and family history.

On Sep. 28, OPL will welcome Trish Keogh from Pictures in Place, a local photo organization business, to lead a session on photo organization and storytelling. The two-part workshop – second session to run on Oct. 26 – will provide participants with tips for preserving their family history through photos and will introduce them to new technology for sharing their collection.

Also in September, professional genealogist Tammy Tipler-Priolo, also known as The Ancestor Investigator, will present a lecture on how to conduct Quebec genealogical research. In this session – running on Sep. 30 – Tipler-Priolo will discuss the differences between historical records and provide information on reliable research tools.

Ruth Blair, a well-known local professional genealogist, will give a presentation on Nov. 23 to discuss modern day research for WWI veterans. Blair’s presentation will cover the different types of technology and resources available to help locate documents such as military service records.

Blair will return on Feb. 20 to conclude the season with an information session focused on the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS). In this session, Blair will walk participants through the GPS and help decipher information they have uncovered.

OPL runs multiple programs on genealogy and history throughout the year and provides library cardholders with access to numerous resources for genealogical and historical research, including Ancestry Library Edition, a popular genealogy and DNA database.

The library will release next season’s programming in early 2018 – stay tuned for announcements on the launch of the Spring/Summer guide.

To sign up for a library card, please visit any OPL branch with your valid form of ID.

To learn more about the programs mentioned in this article, or to register for any of OPL’s upcoming Family History programs, please visit

Workshops to prepare your teen for their future

September 8, 2017

This season, Oakville Public Library (OPL) will be a one-stop-shop for your young adult. From learning tips and tricks for applying to post-secondary school, to learning how to manage finances, OPL will aid your teen in their transition into adulthood.

OPL understands the challenges that many young adults face, so we have developed programming to help them overcome their struggles, focus on their personal growth and learning, and provide an outlet to explore their creativity and have fun.

Teens who are currently on track to attend college or university will benefit from a few of our highly anticipated programs.

Our upcoming University Applications: All You Need to Know program runs on Sep. 14 and will provide an in-depth review of what to expect when applying to post-secondary school and our Writing Your Personal Statement workshop on Oct. 19 will teach your teen how to draft a personal elevator pitch that will help their application stand out.

Although these two programs are fully registered, we recommend you sign up for our waitlist, as an opening may become available.

On Sep. 19, we will be running a workshop that explores ways to finance schooling. Money 101: Financial Aid & Scholarship Writing will present various financial aid options available to new and returning students, and will provide advice on scholarship writing and how to better showcase your accomplishments.   

Later in the winter, we will hold a session that will help soon-to-be high school graduates plan out their educational path. Our Jan. 18 Own Your Education: Succeed at University program will teach students how to prioritize their workloads in university and provide insight on how they can manage their time.

As a parent, if you would like to gain a better understanding of what your teenager might be experiencing and how you can help, we highly encourage you to attend our University Admissions: What Parents Should Know info-session on Oct. 25. This program will equip you with the tools you need to assist them through their application process.

OPL is also offering a variety of exciting activities for teens who need a break from all their educational planning. This season we are offering a handful of great tech programs for teens, including 3D printing and design, wearable tech, virtual reality, audio coding, and colouring 2.0 with OSMOs. We will also be kicking off our annual Teen Book Club in early October at our Teen Book Club Information Night.

Later in the season, OPL will also hold three programs that focus on high-interest topics for teens. Reading the Rainbow is an amazing new program that allows teens to openly discuss their favourite books that feature LGBTQ+ characters, while Messages from the Media with SAVIS and Keep Your Selfie Safe: Online Safety Tips raise awareness about media portrayals and the online world.

In addition, the library is currently running its annual Write2Xpress Contest. The contest allows students in grades seven through 12 to get creative and write a short story or poem based on this year’s photo. Students have up until Oct. 22 to submit their work for a chance to win great prizes and be recognized at a celebration of winners.

We are very excited to offer these programs for teens and know all attendees will benefit from the information shared.

For more information on our upcoming teen programs, please visit

Celebrate creativity at the Iroquois Ridge Grand Opening celebration and Community Expo

August 25, 2017

Oakville Public Library (OPL) invites the Oakville and Halton Region communities to the Iroquois Ridge Branch on Sep. 9 for a Grand Opening celebration and the library’s 2017 Community Expo.

Members of the community are welcome to drop-in anytime between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to tour the recently renovated space. Throughout the day, guests will also be able to participate in hands-on demonstrations of the branch’s new technology, as well as learn about this year’s Community Expo exhibitors.

The Community Expo is an annual event that brings together local makers, innovators, artisans, and creators to showcase their professional work. This year the library will present incredibly talented exhibitors from various creative fields.

One of the event’s highlights will be Sheridan College’s student-built arcade. The group will be bringing along some of their newest games that attendees can demo.

Kitchener-born 3D printing company, Inksmith, will lead workshops in Tinkercad, a 3D modelling software, while father-son maker team, Brent and Jack, will show off their 3D prints and designs.

The library will also introduce Oakville Community’s First Robotics Team – a community-based group that builds robots for competition – and Dr. Jane Coryell, who will be bringing along her hand-made stage design furniture.

In addition, local game designers will lead demos in virtual reality and OPL staff will help participants test out the branch’s new technology, such as its modular synthesizer and green screen.

Guests are encouraged to interact with exhibitors and find out more about the work of the businesses, organizations, and entrepreneurs in their community.

Many of the exhibitors are simply passionate about their field and produce their work as a hobby, while others have evolved their talents into leading businesses.

The Community Expo is open to everyone, with many activities running for all ages. You do not need to be an Oakville Public Library cardholder to attend the event, although we encourage individuals to sign up for a card so they can take advantage of all of the library’s services and resources.

Oakville Public Library would like to thank this year’s exhibitors for their contributions to the creative industry and for being advocates of public libraries.

OPL also recognizes the contributions of its generous donors. With their help, the library will be able to continue providing integral resources and services for its community, as well as developing and operating programs like the Community Expo.

There are many ways to support the Oakville Public Library, including various naming opportunities in the Iroquois Ridge Branch. For more information on how to contribute to the success of your library, please email Virginia Kuypers at

For more information regarding the Iroquois Ridge Grand Opening and Community Expo, or on OPL programs and services, please visit

Come celebrate creativity with us at the 2017 Community Expo! We look forward to seeing you on September 9!