I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the impact of the provincial cut to the SOLS Budget. As I mentioned in my email of Thursday, April 18th, SOLS was informed by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sport that its budget for the 2019/20 fiscal year would be reduced by just over 50 per cent. Given the magnitude of this cut to our operating budget, there is no alternative but to eliminate the courier delivery service, effective April 26th. Because of the short notice, SOLS also has SUSPENDED interlibrary loan service in order to not add to the volume our drivers have to handle as we cease delivery operations.
Again, interlibrary loan has been SUSPENDED until May 31st. My staff and I now are assessing how we can continue to operate interlibrary loan. We will keep informing you of developments as we progress.
Barbara Franchetto, BA, MLS
Southern Ontario Library Service
Hon. Michael Tibollo
Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Dear Mr. Tibollo:
The Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library Board wishes to express its profound disappointment in the over 50% budget cut to the Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) that has resulted in the suspension of all interlibrary loan delivery service effective April 26th, 2019.
Like public libraries across Ontario, we in Niagara-on-the-Lake struggle to keep up with competing demands and resource constraints in our mission to enrich the community by providing access to the world’s ideas and information and in our work to support those trying to improve themselves and their future.
To help libraries enrich and serve their communities, the Province of Ontario created SOLS, an agency that provides efficient resource sharing to help us stretch every dollar. SOLS exists so the people of Ontario have equitable access to library collections and e-resources, well-trained and skilled staff, and library services that meet common standards, regardless of where they live in the province. SOLS also provides invaluable management, planning and governance consulting, policy templates and support for First Nations and Francophone libraries.
Without SOLS, we would be unable to provide services our community relies on. SOLS provincial and Niagara Regional interlibrary loan services facilitate fast and efficient sharing of books and other materials between libraries in the Niagara Region and across the province, increasing selection and decreasing duplication, through a shared database and courier network.
During the first three months of 2019, our library users borrowed an average of 762 items a month from libraries in the Libraries in Niagara Cooperative (LiNC) and 45 items each month from libraries outside the Niagara Region. In addition, SOLS negotiates and coordinates bulk discount purchasing of online library products such as eBooks and information databases for libraries across the province.
We urge the Government to reconsider this decision in order to continue to “protect what matters most” in the most efficient and effective way possible, through the sharing of resources via agencies like SOLS.
NOTL Public Library