News Archive - 2011


December mini-Mammoth book sale attracts budget-conscious holiday shoppers


Our December mini-Mammoth book sale at 100 Tallwood featured books ranging in price from 1 to 10 for a dollar! Library supporters from across the city showed up to forage for some great holiday finds. Many went home with holiday themed books and good-enough-to-gift nearly new recent bestsellers without hurting their budgets.

Even at these bargain prices, the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association raised $977 for the Ottawa's libraries thanks to everyone who came to the sale to show their support!

We've still got five sales left, so don't worry if you missed us this time. We'll be back in January to offer great books at great prices once again.

Carp library Friends Join the Santa Claus Parade


The Friends of the Ottawa Public Library in Carp were at their local Santa Claus Parade with bells on (and reindeer antlers and elf hats!). This fantastic team of volunteers runs the Carp Book Corner self-serve book sale at the Carp library. 

The Friends Attend the Ottawa Public Library Foundation's Literary Evening


The Friends of the Ottawa Public Library at the Literary Evening Event

The Ottawa Public Library Foundation outdid itself at this year’s Literary Evening. The event offered a brilliant array of auction items, a new venue with a beautiful view, and (as always) captivating speakers. 

This year’s focus was “The future of libraries and the written word.” Guest speaker, acclaimed Canadian author Alberto Manguel, delighted listeners with his stories about the roles libraries have played in his life, as he stated with conviction that libraries will always be needed by communities.

 “If I were to describe what my life has been these past 63 years… it’s been a life of libraries,” Manguel shared. “To me, a great moment in libraries was when I realized that in every library there is a page where someone who doesn’t know you… has written your most secret desires. In every library there is a page that was written for you.” In this way, the materials we find in libraries demonstrate our shared humanity.

Manguel pointed to the importance of libraries as places of community and learning, and noted that librarians have always been, and will always be, valuable because they help us weed through a plethora of information and teach us how to “ask better questions” in order to find better answers. Those who visit Ottawa’s library branches know that our city’s librarians don’t only help us find books, music, or films, but also library and City services and classes that help library users live informed, healthy, and rewarding lives. 

In Ottawa we are lucky to get so much from our libraries; there is no question in our minds that the future of our libraries is secure.

November mini-Mammoth sale brings in over $1000


Our November mini-Mammoth book sale featured books ranging in price from 1 to 10 for a dollar! Books available for sale ranged from health, to nature, to business. Cookbooks, in particular, were a hot seller (perhaps a sign that the holiday season is upon us!).

Even at our incredibly low prices, we raised $1040 for the Ottawa Public Library thanks to everyone who came to the sale to show their support!

We've still got six sales left, so don't worry if you missed us this time. We'll be back in December to offer great books at great prices once again.

Hazeldean Celebration Ends with a Surprise Renovation Announcement


On Saturday, Oct. 22 the Hazeldean branch of the Ottawa Public Library celebrated its 30th anniversary. Hazeldean library users celebrated the occasion by participating in children’s story time, eating cake, and listening to music by Gerry Mitchell (of Glen Cairn native).

The Ottawa Public Library took the opportunity to announce a $500,000 renovation project for the branch, which will update children’s, teen, and adult areas and a video lounge for CDs and DVDs.

Hazeldean branch will be closed starting in January for four to five months, but will be ready in time to accommodate library users who use the Beaverbrook library as it enters its renovation project to enhance the west district library.

Where do donated books go when they aren't sold in our bookstores?


The Friends of the Ottawa Public Library want to see every book we receive find a good home. That means that after books have spent some time in our library branch bookstores or at special book sales, we find new places for our books to go. 

Many of the books left unsold are sent to Better World Books to be sold online. When our books are sold by Better World, we receive a percentage of the profits, and so do other literacy groups.

Sometimes there is a need for books within our community. Many of our large print books are donated to retirement homes, and we have given foreign language books to community centres and young adult fiction to correctional facilities.

And finally, there are occasions when we are asked to donate books to other non-profit organizations. One recent success story is our work with the Tanzania Rural Development Foundation. A representative from this foundation, Liliane Kwofie, asked the Friends to donate books that could be used to teach students in Tanzania. Our volunteers packed children’s books, math and science workbooks, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and literature for the project. Liliane picked up the boxes in September 2011 and this week we received a letter and photos from Liliane, thanking us for our involvement.

Dear Ms Shirley Felker and Friends of Library, 

On behalf of the Tanzania Rural Development Foundation, I wish to express our gratitude to you for your generous donation to the children and women of Shinyanga and Nhobola village in Tanzania. 

Please be assured that your contribution will be helpful to many, especially, to the children and women in the village. As you can see from the few photos I've sent, it's been a busy week for us since we arrived in Shinyanga Town. We have made several visits to the village to start work on the water project. The women, children and girls suffer the most because of poor infrastructure and poverty. But, they are resilient and work hard so there is hope for a better future here. 

Our young Canadian volunteer, Matthew Jaworsky from Ottawa, has been working very hard since early August, with village volunteers, collecting data and statistics for the project. Matt lives with us in Shinyanga and together we commute to the village.   

Once again, thank you for your generous donation.

Yours Sincerely, 

Liliane and Sam   

We are so happy to have been able to contribute by making use of discarded materials. It’s always a delight to see our books get a second life.

The Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Endowment Fund gets another Boost


Next year we will once again join the Ottawa Public Library Foundation (OPLF) and the incredibly charitable Mr. Ernest Coté in contributing $10,000 to a bursary fund for students of the Information Studies program at the University of Ottawa. The Ontario Trust for Student Support (OTSS) will match our contributions, bringing the value of the bursary to more than $200,000!

The Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Endowment Fund was established in 2007 to honour the founders of the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA) and to commemorate the 25th anniversary of our Friends group. The bursary fund got its start with the help of a generous donation from Mr. Coté, former Ottawa Public Library (OPL) Trustee and co-founder of FOPLA and the FOPLA trust fund. 

Last year, along with the OPL Foundation and Mr. Coté, we made a donation to help the fund reach self-sustaining status. Now the fund will grow once more. 

Thanks to everyone who has contributed, each year a $2000 bursary will be awarded to studying future librarians from the National Capital Region (including current library employees pursuing further education) from the interest earned on the fund.

Let's Celebrate the Writers Featured in pot-pourri

Photo: Sam Hornby

Six young authors read their poems and short stories to a full house at our pot-pourri book launch on October 4th. pot-pourri 2011 is an anthology of the winning poems and short stories from the Ottawa Public Library’s most recent Awesome Authors youth writing contest. 

Twenty-nine of the 48 authors featured in the collection, along with their family members and friends, gathered in the mezzanine of the Main Library to celebrate the publication of their writing. The excitement in the room was palpable, and everyone in attendance was filled with pride for the young writers in the room. 

After the ceremony, the young authors milled about, offering each other congratulations and exchanging autographs. Book readings from Ottawa's youngest talent, coupled with an enraptured audience and homemade cookies made for a happy evening!

2012 submissions to the Awesome Authors contest will be accepted  by the Ottawa Public Library until January 2012, so please encourage writers from the National Capital region between the ages of 9 and 17 to send in their writing. Perhaps their works will be featured in next year's edition of pot-pourri.

Goodbye to our Libraries' Brightest Star


Barbara Clubb, City Librarian of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL), has announced that she will retire this December. Her incredible knowledge and enthusiasm will certainly be missed. Barbara Clubb has never been afraid to dream big. A champion of literacy, she has always looked for ways to improve upon an already stellar library system. She recognizes the importance of libraries and strives to meet patrons’ needs in a fast-changing world, learning from the examples of other great libraries and implementing the most innovative technology to offer library users the most rewarding experience. 

It is widely believed that the Ottawa Public Library is one of the greatest outcomes of an amalgamated Ottawa and Barbara Clubb can take credit for much of its success, having been appointed City Librarian and CEO of the Ottawa Public Library in 2001, just as amalgamation was taking effect. She has become recognized as a leader in the Canadian and international library communities, and is a strong advocate for our public library system. She approached her work with a sense of purpose and we can see the results of her hard work around us.

She has given our city so much. We wish her every happiness in retirement.

mini-Mammoth a success!


Our first mini-Mammoth book sale drew a crowd of booklovers. The first of nine annual book sales at 100 Tallwood Drive offered shoppers 10 books for a dollar or a bag of books for a buck. People of all ages filled the sale space armed with re-usable shopping bags and left with dozens of books for pennies apiece. Families stocked up on children’s reading materials, local teachers filled bags with books for their classrooms, one woman collected books for the Ottawa Food Bank, and many other visitors selected novels to add to their reading lists. 

Thanks to the generosity of those who attended and wished to give more to the Ottawa Public Library, we were able to raise $300 despite our low prices. FOPLA volunteers left the event feeling very positive about the mini-Mammoth sales’ potential and hoping that all those who attended will invite their friends to our next sale in November. We’ll see you there!

Our First Mini Mammoth Book Sale


A couple of years ago, the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library worried that our annual Mammoth Used Book Sale might become extinct. This year we say goodbye to our biggest single fundraising event but, while there will not be a huge Mammoth sale, there will be a series of ‘mini-Mammoths’ held at the Central Archives and Library Materials Centre (100 Tallwood Drive) one Saturday each month during the school year. 

We’ve been given access to a great space that will allow us to cut costs and still offer tons of books at fantastic prices. 

At the first ‘Mini Mammoth’ sale on Saturday, September 24th from 10am to 2pm, fans of fiction can stock up on reading materials for pocket change. Customers can either buy 10 books for $1 or bring their own shopping bags and fill them with books for a dollar a bag! 

Thousands of fiction books for ages 6 to 106 will be available at September’s sale, as well as CDs and VHS videos.  Admission and parking are free so we’re hoping to see residents from across Ottawa make their way to our first mini-Mammoth to support our public libraries and save a bundle. 

FOPLA’s book sales in library branches across the city make it possible for us to gift about $250,000 to the Ottawa Public Library annually. The Mammoth Book Sale has consistently been FOPLA’s biggest fundraising event of the year, so hopefully having more frequent sales will help us raise more funds for Ottawa Public Library materials, programs, and services.

See our events page for sales dates.

A Meeting of Minds

Board Members from all three organizations come together at the Tri-Board Meeting

Photo: Rheal Doucette, OPL/BPO
Board Members from all three organizations come together at the Tri-Board Meeting

On September 12th, the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA), the Ottawa Public Library Foundation (OPLF), and the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) Board's members came together to communicate and collaborate in order to better serve the Ottawa Public Library.

Board chairs shared some impressive statistics; did you know that the Friends will give Ottawa’s libraries about $270,000 this year, that the OPL Foundation has received 1119 donations so far this year, or that library circulation has increased another 7.7% since last year? And guest speaker, Communications and Project Management expert Andrea McCormick, shared that “in a 2010 Carleton University survey, OPL services ranked as first of 20 city service areas in a citizen satisfaction survey.”

The Ottawa Public Library is clearly a beloved resource in our city, and we are so grateful to those who volunteer with the Friends and buy books from our sales. We thank you for supporting a library system that strives to deliver the best in patron satisfaction. The three Boards that came together on September 12th will work hard to corral our strengths in order to increase the success of our libraries and share those successes with you, the people who have made our libraries a part of your lives.


Our Partner Now Matches Book for Book


A few months ago the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA) partnered with Better World Books (BWB), an online book reseller. 

By selling used books online and donating some of the proceeds to charitable partners, Better World Books has raised millions of dollars for literacy, saved millions of books from landfills, and provided books to millions of readers worldwide. 

Better World Books is giving books that FOPLA has not been able to sell locally a second chance. Through BWB we are able to free up shelf space and get rid of the boxes of books that are left over after large sales.  In exchange for their services, BWB receives a percentage of the net proceeds when our books are sold online through them. 

A percentage of each sale is also allocated to a charitable literacy organization. We have arranged for that portion of the proceeds stemming from the sale of FOPLA books to go to the Ottawa Public Library Foundation. This way, a larger percentage of our profits will go toward the Ottawa Public Library. 

This summer, Better World Books has introduced an exciting new commitment to commemorate their ten millionth dollar raised for charity. From now on, when shoppers buy a book from, BWB will donate a book to someone in need. 

We’re happy to be associated with an organization so dedicated to promoting and enhancing literacy worldwide.

Ruth E. Dickinson Re-opening Celebration!

Photo: Rheal Doucette, OPL/BPO

On Friday, August 26th, community members gathered at the Ruth E. Dickinson Library Branch of the Ottawa Public Library to celebrate its official re-opening after the completion of a $550,000 renovation project funded through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund by federal, provincial and municipal governments. 

Visitors enjoyed cake and refreshments and in the afternoon TVO Kids host Gisèle, star of TVO's "Gisèle's Big Backyard," read with children and Magician Chris Pilsworth gave an enchanting performance.

At the re-opening celebration Friends' VP of Operations, Bob Publicover, shared that the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library will contribute $8,000 to furnish and equip Ruth E. Dickinson’s children’s area this year.

Thanks to the support of all those who came together to improve this library, visitors to the Ruth E. Dickinson branch will appreciate the renewed space for generations.

Hazeldean Summer Reading Club Party



On Thursday August 18th, the Hazeldean branch of the Ottawa Public Library held a TD Summer Reading Club Closing Party, sponsored by the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA).  Local families came to the library to celebrate with cookies, drinks and a magic show.

Over 100 young readers participated in the festivities with their parents and siblings. SPLASH (the summer reading club's theme) was the word of the day. The library recognized this summer's theme by encouraging attendees to draw fish and boats on the library's front walk with sidewalk chalk, to blow bubbles, and to create collages with pictures of underwater life and ocean stickers.

The day started off with a magician, Elliott Smith, who performed tricks that left his audience wondering, "How did he do that?" A special draw followed the magic show and every child present got to choose a new book from the gift table in the order that tickets were called.  

Hazeldean FOPLA members, Heather and Carol, were given a big round of applause for their involvement in this fun-filled day.

Carp's Friends


The Carp Friends group held a very productive meeting on July 19th. The members of the Friends group shared ideas and some members took on new roles. Kirsten Smith chaired her first meeting as  the new President of the Carp Friends, succeeding Karen Zeitler as president and Karen will become secretary. 

Congratulations to the Carp Friends group for another successful year!

A New Team

Photo: Brittan Florczyk
Board members - new, departing, and returning - in attendance at our AGM

During an upbeat and successful Annual General Meeting on June 21st the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA) elected a new board of directors. The new FOPLA board members are:

Colin Plows, President 
Bob Publicover, Vice-president of Operations 
David Weir, Secretary 
Nancy Langdon, Treasurer 
Janis Sops, Member-at-large 
Jessica Hertzog, Member-at-large
Caitlin Emond, Member-at-large
Cindy Streefkerk, Past-president

Local Committee Representatives:
David Weir (Ottawa Local Committee) 
Gerry Watkins (Goulbourn - Rideau Local Committee) 
Nafisa Malik (Nepean Local Committee) 
Heather Murphy (Kanata Local Committee) 
Colin Plows (Cumberland - Orleans Local Committee) 
Nancy Shurtleff (Greenboro Local Committee)
The Vanier Local Committee does not have a representative at this time.

In addition to electing new Board members and recognizing outstanding volunteers, we heard from Craig Ginther (Manager of Innovation & Continuous Improvement at the Ottawa Public Library) about the future of libraries. Josephine Norton (Manager of a number of library branches in the West end) presented a slideshow of FOPLA's 2010 contributions, available here.

To read more about our board and all the roles in our organization, click here.

Celebrate the Anniversary of FOPLA Day!


Did you know that in 2008 Mayor Larry O'Brien declared June 25th "Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Day" in Ottawa? The declaration was made in recognition of the time and energy all of our volunteers (over 300 people lending a hand) spend in an effort to raise funds for our libraries. We are consistently able to give more than $250,000 to our libraries for collections, furnishings, and programs every year. That’s quite an accomplishment!

When the Friends accepted this honour in 2008, Councillor Jan Harder stated, “The OPL [Ottawa Public Library] is one of the best library systems in Canada and our Friends group is one of the big reasons for our success. They deserve this special recognition and our board members and staff say, Bravo!” That sentiment remains true today. We have an incredibly dedicated team of volunteers, and we are grateful for all of their contributions. They continue to impress us each year!

By-law Amendments Approved

Over the past two years the FOPLA Board of Directors has carried out an extensive review of its by-laws. At our Annual General Meeting, the amendments made to our by-laws were approved.

The process began with an examination of the by-laws regarding the election and appointment of Board members and their term of office. These sections were amended for greater clarity and to allow for the staggering of Board terms from a practical perspective.  

During the review process, some typographical errors, grammatical errors and French errors were also corrected. Additionally a number of by-laws were amended to clarify their meaning, to provide greater flexibility for the Board to perform its duties, and to correspond to actual practice.  Other by-laws have been added or amended to correspond to best practice among Boards.  All amendments were legally reviewed. We'd like to thank Dineen Beath of Labarge Weinstein for her pro bono legal work on this undertaking.

For all Bibliophiles at St. Laurent Library

The Friends now have a self-serve book sale shelf at the St. Laurent branch of the Ottawa Public Library! They celebrated the opening of Bibliophile on June 18th.

Dominique Duguay was awarded a Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association mug and book bag and 3 free books from the new bookshop at St. Laurent for suggesting the bilingual winning name for the shop.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the naming contest and submitted your ideas. There were some great suggestions to pick from!

Let's Welcome "The Book Stop"

The Friends are now selling books at the new Greely library location! FOPLA volunteer, Howard Crelar, has been looking forward to the creation of a Friends book shelf at Greely for months now, so it's exciting to see the plan come to fruition.

The Book Stop made its first sale the day it opened, and library visitors have been expressing interest in the little shop stop. Now residents of Greely can enjoy great books for great prices too.

At the new Central Archives and Ottawa Public Library Materials Centre...


New FOPLA recruits and a few long-time Friends volunteers have been bringing order to chaos at the new Central Archives and Ottawa Public Library Materials Centre, laying the groundwork for a system that will benefit Friends' bookshops in all branches. The Friends have been given a central sorting space in the new building to store and sort book donations to be distributed to our book sales across the city. Now it's time to put that space to work.

Volunteers are hard at work sorting through books left over from several of the Friends' larger book sales and library discards. Hundreds of boxes of books are being unpacked and their contents are finding new homes on freshly labelled bookshelves so volunteers can pull books with ease when they are needed.

Once this space is operating fully, Friends at any of our 16 bookshops will be able to make requests for books when their supplies are getting low. When requests are made, volunteers at the new facility will pack blue bins to be sent to the library branches where books are needed.

We'd like to say thank you to all of the volunteers working at the new facility. We are so grateful for your help!

Introducing a New Bursary!

photo:  Brenda Rothwell, Executive Director-Algonquin College Foundation, Catherine Sidorenko, Chair- School of Community Studies, Cindy Streefkerk, President- Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association, Helena Merriam,  Coordinator - Library & Information Technician program.

On May 13th, Cindy Streefkerk, President of our Friends group, joined Algonquin College representatives to celebrate the creation of the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association Bursary.

Earlier this year, the Friends donated $12,500 to the Algonquin College Foundation, an organization created in 2003 to raise funds for student bursaries, scholarships, awards, program equipment and facility enhancements for Algonquin College. The FOPLA bursary will provide financial aid for students of the Library and Information Technician program. Our contribution was matched 1:1 by the Ontario Trust for Student Support, bringing the fund to $25,000 in principal.

Our new bursary will ease the financial strain for students acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to find fulfilling work in our libraries. A $1000 bursary will be awarded each year beginning in the fall 2011 semester.

Stittsville Superstars

Photo: Rheal Doucette, OPL/BPO
 Gerry Watkins (A Good Read co-manager), Councillor Jan Harder, Cindy Streefkerk (FOPLA president), Sylvia Barr 
(A Good Read co-manager), Councillor Shad Qadri, Mayor Jim Watson.

On May 13th the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) held a special event to thank the Friends volunteers who work so hard at A Good Read to support the OPL system at the Stittsville branch. 

Stittsville's Friends volunteers raised $11,668.05 for OPL in 2010. Congratulations!

FOPLA Sponsored Teen Tech Video Contest


Throughout April, the Ottawa Public Library held a Teen Tech Video Contest. Teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 were asked to create a one-minute video on YouTube about their favourite book. It could be "a book trailer, a parody, a review, a dramatization of a favourite scene, or anything related to the book of choice."

Over 50 film-savvy teens entered the competition and it was great to see such creativity shared online. Contest followers were reminded of some of our favourite books from adolescence and were introduced to some new fiction. Watching the videos was a lot of fun!

To see the Top 10 videos, visit the Ottawa Public Library's website here.

The Mammoth has Left the Building


Photo: Claudette Bockstael

Hundreds of booklovers came out to the Nepean Sportsplex on a windy, rainy weekend to buy great books for bargain prices. Friends of the Ottawa Public Library volunteers saw many new faces at the 16th Annual Mammoth Used Book Sale and were happy to see so many members of the Ottawa community stock up on books to help support our libraries. Together we raised almost $15,000 for the Ottawa Public Library in just two days!

Such success wouldn't have been possible without all of the books donated by the Ottawa Public Library and the people of our community. Thanks to their generosity, over 20,000 books and A/V materials were available for shoppers to peruse.

If you'd like to know more about donating books to the Friends, click here.

The Friends would like to give a special thank you to the Mammoth Book Sale committee who organized this event and to the volunteers who gave their time over the weekend – the funds raised through your hard work will mean great things for our community and the Ottawa Public Library.

For more information about what FOPLA does with the money it raises click here.


The Mammoth is Coming


The Mammoth Used Book Sale, held by the Friends of Ottawa Public Library Association, will take place on Saturday, April 16th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 17th from  10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Avenue, Hall F.  

More than twenty thousand books of all types are available at bargain prices.  Show your support and get a great deal too!  

Board Members Needed


Join the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association.

The Friends are looking for Board and Committee members for the next year.

If you are interested in contributing to our libraries and becoming a member of a great team, you can find out more about volunteer opportunities here.

Alta Vista Celebration

Photo: Rheal Doucette, OPL/BPO

On April 2nd, the Ottawa Public Library celebrated recent improvements made to its Alta Vista branch. Through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, federal, provincial and municipal governments demonstrated that they value the materials and services our libraries provide.

Cindy Streefkerk, Friends of the Ottawa Public Library President, attended the event and shared the Friends' message with those who joined the celebration:

"Our Friends group is made up of over 300 volunteers who work hard to contribute to the important work of the Ottawa Public Library because they believe in the value of a strong library system. After all, the Ottawa Public Library offers more than just books. 

As our lives change, libraries adapt to fill new needs. Today, with just a library card, entrepreneurs and job seekers can take advantage of business and career services and subscription-based resources; patrons can register for nutrition workshops and access the Internet for information; students can receive homework help; and new Canadians can get valuable advice from Library Settlement Workers. Yes libraries offer books, but these community hubs certainly don’t stop there."

The Friends were able to contribute $30,000 for shelving at Alta Vista last year, and will donate another $30,000 for further renovations.

Awesome Authors Winners Announced


Photo: Rheal Doucette, OPL/BPO

The Ottawa Public Library's contest for aspiring young poets and short story writers between the ages of 9 and 17 brought in nearly 400 submissions this year! Judges, J.C. Sulzenko,  Michel Lavoie, and Brenda Chapman made their way through hundreds of poems and stories in French and English, whittling down to 50 winners who, they felt, produced the most impressive works.

On March 29th approximately 300 people crowded the Chamber at Ben Franklin Place to see the winners announced. Young writers and their parents, grandparents, siblings, and best friends filled the seats and overflowed into the aisles to find out who had won. 

Judges announced the winners in the categories they judged, and treated the audience to an excerpt from each winning text. There were some returning winners and some new faces, but all of the Awesome Authors who received awards grinned from ear to ear.

The winning writers' works will be featured in the Friends'  next edition of pot-pourri. The anthology will be available in October, so be sure to join us for the book launch to purchase your copy and see for yourself how incredible Ottawa's young authors' talent can be. If you want to guarantee a copy, you can also pre-order now.

Welcome "Keepers"

The Friends at Centennial library held a competition in order to choose a name for their new bookstore, and on March 26th the winning name was announced at the store's grand opening. The name of the new store is "Keepers" and that's exactly what bookstore patrons will find.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a suggestion in our competition.

Congratulations Lori Nash!

Photo: Rheal Doucette, OPL/BPO

On March 23rd, the Ottawa Public Library dedicated a meeting room at the Cumberland branch to Lori Nash, former Friends of the Ottawa Public Library (FOPLA) President and long-time library advocate. Friends and library supporters who have worked with Lori filled the venue to celebrate Lori’s achievements.

She has contributed so much to our Friends group, so we’d like to thanks and congratulate her.

Freedom to Read Week


 February 20-26, 2011

"Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms."

Why not celebrate by picking up a book that was previously banned?

Vanier Reopening Celebration

The cutting of the ribbon

The cutting of the ribbon

FOPLA president, Cindy Streefkerk, spoke on behalf of the Friends on February 19th to celebrate the reopening of the Vanier branch of the Ottawa Public Library. 

In Vanier the library branch is a hidden treasure, dearly-loved by its patrons. Bordered by Richelieu Park, and situated next to North America’s only urban Sugar Bush, this branch is a great place for local families to visit for a fun outing. That’s why it was important for the Friends to make a contribution to the children’s department by making it possible to acquire furnishings. 

Visit the Vanier branch to see the incredible changes that have been made.

Hello Stittsville


The Friends of the Ottawa Public Library are looking for volunteers to sort books and stock shelves at the Stittsville self-serve bookstore.

If you can spare a couple of hours a week, please contact Shirley Felker

A Shop without a Name


The Friends are opening a new bookstore at the Centennial branch! Our bookstore needs a name and we need some help coming up with one. There’s a prize for the best title, so submit your suggestion if you have an idea.

Family Literacy Day


January 27th is Canada’s Family Literacy Day, and what better way to celebrate than with a visit to one of our Friends bookstores for a treat? Peruse the shelves at one of our book sale locations and pick up something for every member of the family for just a few dollars. In the gloom of winter all of us can appreciate a break. So make the day a special occasion; enjoy a new story and share your love of reading with the ones you love.

University of Ottawa Scholarship Celebration


Back: Lynne Bowker, Antoni Lewkowicz, Barbara Clubb, Leslie Weir  
Front: Cindy Streefkerk, Ernest Côté, Howard Whittaker 

In recognition of FOPLA’s 25th anniversary, the Friends created a scholarship for students of the Information Studies program at the University of Ottawa.

The fund was started with the help of a generous donation from Mr. Ernest Côté (a former OPL Trustee and co-founder of FOPLA and the FOPLA trust fund) and a matching contribution from the university.

FOPLA aimed to add to the fund incrementally until it became self-sustainable but, thanks to a Christmas card from Lori Nash to Ernest Côté in December 2009, we were able to reach that goal much sooner than anyone had anticipated!

The Friends, the OPL Foundation, Mr. Côté, and the University of Ottawa contributed enough for the fund to reach $100,000 so scholarships for future librarians from the National Capital Region can be awarded from the interest earned from the fund. We will be able to offer eligible students a $2000 scholarship each year (and perhaps two scholarships in a year if we’re lucky!).

The School of Information Studies celebrated this accomplishment on January 12th, 2011 with a reception to honour Mr. Ernest Côté and the Ottawa Public Library Community. Information Studies students joined us for the celebration and we heard from Professor Antoni Lewkowicz (Dean of the Faculty of Arts), Cindy Streefkerk (our FOPLA president), and the charismatic Mr. Ernest Côté.

Celebrating our Successes

Friends' Bookshop volunteers celebrated the Christmas season with a lunch at Bay Street Bistro, followed by homemade desserts and a gift exchange at the Main Branch of the OPL. It was a festive celebration and a great way to end a successful year for the Friends!

Love Your Library? Volunteer!

The Friends of the Ottawa Public Library are looking for a volunteer Bookstore Manager to oversee  the operation of our new St. Laurent  self-serve bookstore.

Volunteers are also needed to sort books and stock shelves.  

For further information, please contact Shirley Felker or phone Marie Petersen

Moving on Up

The Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association is looking for volunteers to sort books at our new facility in the Archives and Ottawa Public Library Materials Centre, at Tallwood and Woodroffe Avenue, opening in March 2011.  

Knowledge of books is essential and some heavy lifting is required.  

For further information, contact Shirley Felker or phone Marie Petersen

Saying Goodbye to a Dear Friend

Volunteers at the Main Library’s Friends Bookstore were saddened by the loss of their treasurer and longtime volunteer, Art Read, who passed away November 26th, 2010.  Art had been an active volunteer since 1991 and was named Volunteer of the Year several times for his invaluable contributions.  He also acted as Volunteer Coordinator. 

Art is survived by his wife, Elspeth, who has been a volunteer since 1996, and his family.  He will be greatly missed.

Thank you to the Maingot Family

The Friends' Bookshop would like to express their thanks and appreciation to the family of the late Philip Maingot. 

Mr. Maingot was a great book lover and collected many books and films which were generously donated to the Friends for resale.  His collection brought much pleasure and joy to our customers.  Special thanks to his son, Kenneth Maingot,  for arranging delivery of this huge collection and for helping the Friends in their fundraising efforts.

Looking for a challenge?

The Friends are looking for a well-organized, people-oriented volunteer to coordinate and manage our 16th Annual Mammoth Used Booksale on April 16th and 17th, 2011.

Applicants must be available between January 4th and April 30th.

For details, please contact Shirley Felker