News

Opportunity: Oakville Public Library Board Member

Oakville Public Library (OPL) is changing, and we need dynamic professionals to help lead our 100-year-old community organization. You can shape the future of OPL by becoming a member of our Board.

There are currently two positions available on the Oakville Public Library Board of Management.

As a Member of our Board, you will join a team of passionate individuals who see the power of our library, and who understand the importance of literacy and lifelong learning. Your leadership and expertise will help guide us in achieving our future goals, and your support and advocacy will allow us to cultivate lasting relationships and highlight our value in the community.

During your term, you will provide insight and advice as we tackle our Strategic Direction. Together, we will:

  • Serve our growing population
  • Revitalize our spaces and create fully-accessible branches
  • Extend our outreach
  • Enhance our programming and events
  • Maximize our resources, revenue, and mutually beneficial partnerships

Is it a good fit for you?

We’re looking for someone who can:

  • Hold office for a term concurrent with the current term of Council, or until a successor is appointed
  • Devote their time to perform the responsibilities of a Board Member
    • Attend monthly Board meetings in person on the fourth Thursday each month at 7:00 p.m.
    • Ability to attend occasional library programs and events
  • Represent and advocate for OPL
  • Demonstrate a strong commitment to the Town of Oakville and its public services including OPL
  • Communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with OPL Board Members and employees to achieve common goals
  • Bring professional experience related to our strategic direction. The strongest candidate will bring experience or expertise in Charity and Not-for-Profit Organization; Fundraising; Human Resources; Strategic Planning; Architecture/Environmental Design.
  • Provide insight and experience from current or previous work in a not-for-profit organization

Mandatory Qualifications for Consideration

  • You are over the age of 18
  • You are a Canadian Citizen
  • You are a resident of the Town of Oakville
  • You are not employed by any members of the Board or by the Town of Oakville
  • You are currently a library cardholder and user of OPL

Who We Are
Oakville Public Library (OPL) strives to build community by connecting people and ideas. With innovative programs for all ages, expansive collections of books, ever-growing digital media offerings, and town-wide outreach endeavors, OPL is committed to community development and providing learning opportunities for all.

How to Apply

If you are interested in joining Oakville Public Library’s Board, click here to apply.

Get back into reading this summer with the Oakville Reads online book club

July 14, 2017

Oakville Public Library (OPL) is encouraging the Oakville community to catch up on reading this summer by joining Oakville Reads. Oakville Reads is an on-going, free online book club for adults, offering a new book and engaging discussions every month.

Oakville Reads is the perfect outlet for book lovers with busy schedules, who are unable to commit to in-person book clubs. The club offers the freedom of reading at your leisure, whether you are at home, on lunch break, or on vacation, miles away.

The book club, which has been running for the past two years, has nearly 250 members from across the globe, including many OPL staff who actively read along and participate.

This low-commitment club has an open-membership policy, allowing members to join in on discussions at any time, as well as skip reads if it impedes with their schedule. Members also have the opportunity to get a head start on future reads, with book titles announced a month in advance.

Members are periodically surprised with Advanced Reading Copy giveaways, as well as the occasional author discussion drop-in. Renowned authors Plum Johnson, Lynwood Barclay, and Robert Rotenberg have previously joined in on dialogues on their books to interact with members and answer their questions.

For those who prefer the traditional, in-person book club, OPL also runs three in-house clubs at the Central, Woodside, and Glen Abbey branches, with books supplied for borrowing for all members. Registration is required to participate in these clubs, which opens in August and fills up quickly.

Oakville Public Library also offers Book Club Kits for those who are interested in starting and running their own book club. These hassle-free and money-saving kits can be borrowed for six weeks at a time; kits include up to 10 copies of the book, as well as discussion questions to help jump-start group conversation.

OPL currently has approximately 90 kit titles to choose from, and introduces eight to ten new titles every year. Although most kits are intended for adult-readers, the library also carries several teen and crossover titles to encourage younger audiences to create their own book clubs.

If you are interested in joining Oakville Reads or one of OPL’s traditional book clubs, please visit www.opl.ca for more information.

If you would like to take advantage of the library’s Book Club Kits, visit your local branch to view our full list of titles, borrow, or get reading recommendations from staff.

Oakville Public Library to re-open newly renovated tech-focused branch

June 30, 2017

After a five-month long renovation, the Oakville Public Library’s (OPL) Iroquois Ridge Branch is set to reopen its doors on Tuesday, July 4.

The freshly-renovated branch focuses on inspiring creativity and features a versatile Creation Zone, a new collection, and exciting technology.

As a modern-day community hub, this reconfigured branch will allow community members to come together to connect, create, discover, and learn. The space still serves as a traditional library, but also acts a place where you can work on meaningful and creative projects, and explore various areas of technology.

In addition, the branch houses an extended quiet zone, a comfortable reading lounge, and modern collaboration pods. The branch is also equipped with some of the latest technology, including iPads and drones.

In the near future, the branch will carry photography and videography editing software, 3D and graphic design programs, as well as in-branch loanable laptops, virtual reality, and GoPros.

“We are very excited to reopen the doors to our Iroquois Ridge Branch,” says Councillor Jeff Knoll, board chair. “We are proud to offer our community a place where they can use valuable resources and have access to specialized learning experiences.”

Along with the great functional space comes a new model of STEAM-focused (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) programming. Now that the branch is equipped with the technology, OPL will begin offering hands-on classes where customers can physically touch and learn to use the devices.

Programs will be run by fully-qualified staff members, with some special presentations made by guest experts.

The Iroquois Ridge Branch will also have an on-site Creation Specialist who will be able to assist customers with using the Creation Zone, as well as provide creative advice and guidance.

“Technology is an integral part of everyday life, and, as a community organization, it is important that we continually revitalize our spaces to meet the needs of our customers,” says Knoll.

“We have many plans for our other branches in the pipeline — Iroquois Ridge was just our first step.”

OPL will be holding an Open House at the Iroquois Ridge Branch on July 4. Community members are welcome to drop-in to explore the space, join in on an iPad tour, and mix and mingle. The branch’s official grand opening will be held in September.

OPL welcomes the Oakville community to visit the new Iroquois Ridge Branch and sign up for a library card. As an OPL cardholder, you will have access to the branch’s new resources, as well as all additional resources at the other library locations.

Please visit any Oakville Public Library branch to sign up for a library card.

For more information regarding the Iroquois Ridge Branch renovation and reopening, please visit www.opl.ca.

Keep your kids engaged this summer with the TD Summer Reading Club

June 16, 2017

Oakville Public Library (OPL) is getting ready to launch their annual TD Summer Reading Club (TDSRC) this month. TDSRC is a great program that engages and motivates children to read throughout the summer months through goal setting and rewards.

This year’s program, which commences later this month, is themed around Canada’s 150th birthday. Children who sign up for the program can select through a wide variety books to read, including books by Canadian authors – independently or with a parent, guardian, or friend.

The program, which promotes literacy, encourages reading from a young age, and boosts confidence, saw over 3,500 participants last year.

Parents can register their child for the program beginning June 26 and set their reading goals together. Children have the opportunity to set three goals in total – once they have accomplished each goal, they are able to visit any OPL branch to report back and receive their prize.

This year’s prizes include vouchers to Conservation Halton and the YMCA, as well as coupons to McDonalds.

The library has also set-up a number of TDSRC programs through July and August that children and families can enjoy while working toward their goals. Some noteworthy events include our Summer Celebration to commemorate Canada’s birthday, the Great Canadian Magic Show, and our Celebrating Stories program with an appearance by a Canadian author.

There are also numerous drop-in programs to keep children engaged, such as our Summer Storytimes, LEGO™time, and our themed Celebrating Canada drop-ins.

This year’s TD Summer Reading Club has been made possible thanks to our wonderful sponsors: Conservation Halton, YMCA of Oakville, McDonalds, Legoland, the Optimist Club, Centre for Equitable Library Access, the Friends of the Oakville Public Library, and of course, TD Bank.

TDSRC is also largely supported by volunteers who help run the drop-in sessions as well as interact and encourage the children to reach their goals throughout the program.

The library is currently accepting applications for those interested in volunteering. If you or someone you know is in high school and looking to accumulate their volunteer hours for credit or add experience to their resume, this is the perfect opportunity.

We are excited to jumpstart the program again this year, and look forward to seeing more children get excited about literacy and reading.

For more information on the TD Summer Reading Club, volunteering, and more, please visit www.opl.ca.

Ask the Blue Shirt Experts about new tech at Oakville Public Library’s new interactive digital series

June 2, 2017

Last month, Oakville Public Library (OPL) introduced a new digital program in partnership with Best Buy Burlington. The new drop-in series, Ask the Blue Shirt Expert, invites customers of all ages to get hands-on and explore the latest trends in technology with top-selling items from Best Buy.

Customers have the chance to talk with tech experts from the big-box store, ask questions about technology, get one-on-one interactive tutorials, and test out high-tech gadgets.

OPL launched on May 2 with wearable technology. At the session, the Blue Shirt experts introduced three trending smart watches, including the Martian Smartwatch, the ASUS ZenWatch, and the widely popular Apple Watch.

After the experts demonstrated each watch, customers were able to wear and “test-drive” the devices, allowing them to see how they could use it in their everyday lives.

The series will continue to run on the first Tuesday of each month.

At the June 6 Ask the Blue Shirt Expert session, the experts will present Best Buy’s best-selling drones. At this session, customers will learn all about drone technology and how they are used in various industries.

Upcoming topics for the Ask the Blue Shirt expert program include DSLRs and Go Pros, today’s newest toys, and gaming.

Oakville Public Library is excited to collaborate with Best Buy in educating the community on the uses of new technology, adding to OPL’s already robust digital portfolio.

For more information about OPL’s Ask the Blue Shirt Expert program and other digital resources and tech services available to customers, please visit www.opl.ca.

Oakville Public Library announces 2016-19 Strategic Plan

May 25, 2017

OAKVILLE, ON – Oakville Public Library (OPL) is pleased to announce the launch of its 2016-19 Strategic Plan.

With a focus on expanding its resources, revitalizing its spaces, and promoting lifelong learning, this new plan outlines the series of goals and objectives that the library will implement over the next two years.

In an effort to enhance its overall customer experience, the library determined its areas of greatest needs and developed overarching goals and objectives to work toward accomplishing.

The plan encompasses initiatives such as creating fully accessible branches with thriving atmospheres, extending the library’s engagement by participating in additional community events, and increasing the library’s fundraising goals.

“Our team worked diligently to address the wants and needs of our community in this plan,” says Councillor Jeff Knoll, Board Chair. “We put a lot of thought and effort into developing our strategic direction, and we are excited to start working toward achieving our organizational goals.”

The planning process took several months to complete and included numerous consultations, interviews, surveys, and discussions with key library stakeholders and community members.

“OPL has come a long way over the past few years, and we have many exciting plans for the future,” says Knoll. “With this new plan in place, we are able to focus on a direction and we are able to envision what our library will look like in 2019.”

The Oakville Public Library 2016-19 Strategic Plan is available to view online at www.opl.ca/strategic-plan.

Specialized programming for Oakville seniors

May 19, 2017

Oakville Public Library (OPL) has planned a series of programs that both inform and engage Oakville seniors.

OPL started their Seniors’ Series program this past April, and continues to run this popular imitative with sessions every Wednesday until June 7. This free, drop-in program offers topics ranging from invasive species and advanced care planning, to learning Lynda.com and meeting Oakville’s Mayor, Rob Burton.

This past week, OPL welcomed the Town of Oakville’s Age-Friendly Committee to present the results of the Town’s latest Age-Friendly Survey. The group discussed the survey’s findings and had an open forum for participants to share their personal thoughts.

The library also collaborated with the Halton Environmental Network, Acclaim Health, and SAVIS for the Seniors’ Series, and will be working with The Tomato Ladies for the upcoming “Eating Healthy on a Budget” session on May 24.

“This series was developed to provide important information on common issues and topics that arise within the senior community,” says Kathleen Staves, who plans and organizes seniors programs. “It also gives them the opportunity to raise their own questions, and have their voices heard.”

After the series wraps up, seniors will still have the opportunity to attend four in-depth programs on managing finances.

The Finance 101 for Seniors program will begin on June 11 and cover the topic of retirement planning. The series continues on June 18 with information about estate planning, and again on July 9 for charitable giving and wealth transfer. The series wraps up with a final presentation on the financial aspects of caregiving, which will be held on July 16.

“We encourage seniors to come out and attend any of these programs,” says Staves. “It’s a great opportunity to learn more about topics that directly relate to them, and allows them to meet and connect with other seniors in our town.”

If you’re interested in attending a Seniors’ Series or Finance 101 for Seniors session, please view our program and events guide for information on dates, times, and how to register. Our guide is available at all OPL branches, and is accessible online at www.opl.ca/guide.

Oakville Public Library releases 2016 Report to the Community

May 15, 2017

OAKVILLE, ON – Oakville Public Library (OPL) is happy to present its 2016 Report to the Community.

The Report to the Community is an annual document that features the library’s significant achievements, initiatives, and enhancements from the year prior.

Last year, OPL took noteworthy steps toward becoming a more inclusive and modern resource centre, incorporating many additions and improvements to various programs and services.

“We are excited to share this document with our community,” says Lynn Horlor, CEO. “It provides a synopsis and full review of what we, as an organization, accomplished in 2016.”

This year’s report specifically focuses on the library’s value of lifelong learning and features its endeavors from 2016 through the categories of children, teens, adults, and seniors.

The document also includes the library’s financials, pays tribute to OPL supporters – donors, partners, volunteers, and customers – and provides a glimpse into the library’s forthcoming ventures.

“Our library is very fortunate to have so many wonderful supporters,” says Horlor. “It was very important for us to recognize them in this document as well as demonstrate the important role they play in shaping our future.”

The Oakville Public Library Report to the Community is available to the public and is accessible on the library’s website at www.opl.ca/2016-RTTC.


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