Ever wonder if your local public library is doing a good job? Or how it measures up to other libraries in Ontario? If there’s an “Accredited Ontario Public Library” sticker on display, you’ll know that the library has met rigorous provincial industry standards.
Collingwood Public Library recently put one of these coveted stickers on its front door. It achieved accreditation through the Ontario Public Library Guidelines Monitoring and Accreditation Council, proving its ability to provide optimal service and resources to its community.
“This is a big deal,” says Collingwood Public Library CEO Ken Haigh. “We are among only 42 libraries to have achieved this status out of about 300 public libraries in Ontario.”
The Guidelines Program was established by the public library community to recognize excellence in library service. An accredited library not only demonstrates that it meets provincial efficiency and service standards, but it also acts as a leader in raising the level of public library service across the province.
The process is voluntary and involves a visit by Council auditors, who represent the Ministry of Sport, Recreation & Culture, provincial library associations and small, medium, large and First Nations libraries in Ontario. They assess the library’s operation against specific guidelines that demonstrate best practices in the public library field in regards to planning, staff, collections, accessibility, policies, and budgeting.
Examples of measures they use include whether a library has enough space to meet the needs of the population, if library users are consulted regularly concerning library services, and whether staff has enough training to do their jobs effectively.
If the library achieves 90% or over in all areas, the auditors recommend it for approval to receive accreditation for a five-year period.
“We scored 98%,” says Haigh, “so I think we did very well. Accreditation shows our community that we are meeting the highest standards in our industry and that residents’ tax dollars are being spent wisely.”
The Collingwood Public Library is committed to guiding our community in the pursuit of information, the wonder of lifelong learning, and the enrichment of social and cultural experiences. At the heart of the community, the Collingwood Public Library is an inclusive environment seeking universal accessibility.