98 The Beach

98 The Beach

Monday, June 3, 2019

Revamped Inter-Library Loan Service Returns

Grey Bruce | by Robyn Garvey  

Program slashed following provincial budget cuts comes back with new delivery method.

It appears the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport have struck some kind of an agreement between the Southern Ontario Library Service and the Ontario Library Service-North.

In a surprising twist of events, the inter library loan program has been reinstated.

In a joint statement the Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) and the Ontario Library Service - North (OLS-N) says they have been working with the Ministry to revise their 2019-20 budgets to achieve a common goal.

That goal was to focus on programs that have the greatest impact to public libraries and their users.

As a result of that work, a solution has been found to restore the inter-library loan services across the province beginning June 1st.

Both library service organizations will provide partial reimbursement to libraries for delivery costs through Canada Post.

In the past the inter-library loan program was delivered through a courier van transportation system not the mail.

In April the Province slashed the budgets of the two library services (SOLS and OLS-N) in half which resulted in the immediate cancellation of the inter-library loan program.

This created an outcry across Ontario, as many libraries including Hanover’s relied heavily upon the inter-library loan program for materials.

In fact Chief Librarian Agnes Rivers-Moore says about 25 percent of all books checked out of the Hanover Library in a year is through the inter-library loan program.

In turn Hanover loans out even more books then it receives through the program.

Hanover library patrons were so upset over the cancellation of the program that that they collected a 720 name petition urging the Ministry to reverse the 50% funding slash to SOLS to allow the inter-library loan program to continue.

Rivers-Moore was very surprised to hear the news that the program would be reinstated.

She has a lot of questions concerning the new plan to send items through the mail rather than courrier.

Particularly regarding the 'partial' remibursement on the postage costs for libraries.

The new method will also impact staff time.

Like many other librarians across the province, Rivers-Moore is seeking further details.

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