FOPLA was pleased to recently share our thoughts on recommendations made by staff of the Ottawa Public Library on the new Ottawa Central Library development project.

FOPLA President Chantal Cloutier spoke as one of 21 public delegations at the Ottawa Public Library Board meeting on January 31st, and offered resounding support from FOPLA for the vision, location, and proposed partnership with Library and Archives Canada for the new library facility.

“Clearly the biggest winners of such a partnership will be the patrons,” Cloutier said.

This innovative partnership, which will house the central branch of the Ottawa Public Library in a joint facility with Library and Archives Canada, will allow both institutions to leverage their creative potential to the benefit of Ottawa community members.

FOPLA also offered strong support for the proposed location at 557 Wellington Street, and commended the research, analysis, and fair decision-making process used by OPL staff to ultimately select the location. FOPLA also suggested that adequate and convenient parking are a necessary service, and supported OPL’s intention to further investigate parking requirements and solutions by the end of March.

The most exciting part of the new facility for the Friends is the proposed re-location of FOPLA’s flagship bookstore to the open-concept Town Square of the new facility. Becoming part of this vibrant, communal space will be the realization of a dream for FOPLA’s Board, volunteers, and members, and will help to increase awareness of FOPLA, and hopefully, the value of the donation that we give to the library each year.

OPL Board members voted 8-1 in favour of the recommendations made by OPL staff on the proposed facility. City Council gave their final approval on February 8th in a 21-1 vote.

We look forward to the new opportunities this landmark facility will create for Ottawa’s library users, and congratulate both OPL staff and the OPL Board for the great progress made to date. We love libraries, and how they are transforming themselves in the 21st century, and we can’t wait to see what a modern, innovative central library will do for Ottawa.