News Archive - 2012

FOPLA continuing to thrive and able to give $350,000 in 2012


A recent news item regarding the possible dissolution of the Ottawa Public Library Foundation has led to some interest in the state of the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA). The Ottawa Public Library Foundation (OPLF) and FOPLA are two separate and independent organizations with separate Boards, finances, operations and fundraising models. The possible dissolution of the OPLF does not impact FOPLA’s operations or its support of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL). In fact, we are growing and expect to see new bookstores in library branches in the near future. 

FOPLA sells used books and operates a network of 16 bookstores and self-serve bookshelves in library branches to raise funds for the OPL. Community members can also support FOPLA by making donations to our coin boxes on display in select library branches or by becoming a member of our organization. Each year, the OPL creates a wish list of library materials and services not covered by the regular municipal budget and FOPLA makes a donation to the OPL to grant those wishes. By contrast, the OPLF solicits donations to enhance library programs and contribute to the capital needs of the library.

FOPLA is very proud to support Ottawa’s libraries. We thank all of our volunteers and customers for making it possible to contribute to this vital city service. Thanks to you, FOPLA is able to donate approximately $350, 000 to the OPL and associated organizations this year.

If you’d like to get involved with FOPLA, you can buy books, donate books, volunteer, or become a member.

Let's Celebrate the Writers Featured in Our Youth Anthology


Photo: Rheal Doucette, OPL

Five young authors read their poems and short stories to a packed room at our pot-pourri book launch on October 4th. pot-pourri 2012 is an anthology of the winning poems and short stories from the Ottawa Public Library’s most recent Awesome Authors youth writing contest. 

Twenty-four of the 41 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 a few words of wisdom and congratulations from local author, Jenn Kelly, made for a terrific night!

2013 submissions to the Awesome Authors contest will be accepted  by the Ottawa Public Library until January 2013, 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.


Voltaire comes to the Carp Library


The Friends receive thousands of books a month through donations and, of those, hundreds will be copies of the latest John Grisham or Danielle Steel novels. So when our volunteers in the west Ottawa hamlet of Carp came across a small brown book titled  “Romans et Contes de Voltaire Tome Quatrieme” mixed in with the Nora Roberts and “Chicken Soup for the Soul” titles, it caught the eye of Jim, our rare books specialist... 

Continue reading in our newsletter

Commending FOPLA Volunteers


We are often amazed by how compassionate and devoted to lifelong learning our FOPLA volunteers are. 

Their desire to promote literacy comes across when they find community organizations that can use our discarded books locally and abroad; their kindness comes across when they scout out titles for regular FOPLA bookstore customers and set aside books they think fellow bibliophiles will enjoy. 

But most recently we saw FOPLA volunteers lending a hand when Robyn Bresnahan, of CBC, asked for help understanding classical music in order to prepare for Ottawa’s Chamberfest. FOPLA volunteers gave Robyn an introductory guide to classical music and a note encouraging her in her study. 

We’re so lucky to have people like this working with us to support the Ottawa Public Library.

The note reads: 

Hi Robin,

Hope this book will help you in your quest for musical knowledge. Best wishes from your many fans in the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association.


Mini-Mammoth Sale Results


We held our last Mini-Mammoth book sale before summer break (the sales will return in September) and our volunteers are very happy with the results of these monthly sales.

A team of mostly new FOPLA volunteers held eight book sales at the James Bartleman Archives and Library Materials Centre and raised a total of $6679.60! Great job!

Hazeldean Reopening Celebration


On July 7th, the Hazeldean library branch celebrated recent improvements. FOPLA bookstore manager and Board member, Heather Murphy, took part in the reopening celebration, saying:

"The Friends were very pleased to be able to contribute to these renovations... Here in the Hazeldean Book Nook, the community support has been tremendous.  We have raised  $34,000 since we opened almost 5 years ago, in November 2007...  

This year, the Friends gifted $30,000 for the Hazeldean renovations.  With those funds, the Library purchased such things as the digital screen by the service desk and furniture.  In previous years, Hazeldean has purchased such things as the benches out front, teen zone furniture, and display shelving with funds from the Friends.  With your support, we will continue to fund improvements to our library in the future.

The Friends are looking forward to being part of the Ottawa Public Library of the future and hope that you will join us in our efforts."

New Technology at the Hazeldean branch


Hazeldean is the first Ottawa Public Library branch to introduce radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. RFID, which is already in use in libraries across North America, replaces the barcode system and will speed up the process of processing checkouts and returns, allowing library staff to spend more of their time offering valuable, one-on-one services.

If you are curious about the new RFID that will be implemented across the Ottawa Public Library system, watch this video of the technology in action at the recently improved Hazeldean branch.

Stittsville Friends Volunteers Stun us Again!

Photo: Councillor Jan Harder, Sharon Robb (FOPLA volunteer), Geri Anderson (FOPLA volunteer), Sylvia Barr (A Good Read co-manager), Elaine Condos (OPL Manager), Jim Bennett (OPL Board member), Donna Clark (OPL Manager)

On May 25th the Stittsville library branch held a special event to thank the Friends  of the Ottawa Public Library volunteers who work so hard at our 'A Good Read' book shop. In 2011, our volunteers raised $16,628.95 in funds for the Stittsville, Munster, North Gower, Richmond and Manotick library branches.

We are so lucky to have such a strong team giving their time and talents to support local libraries.

FOPLA Sponsored Teen Tech Video Contest

Photo: Rheal Doucette, Ottawa Public Library

Young filmmakers, with friends and family members in tow, came together on April 19th to view the top 10 videos created by Ottawa teens for the Teen Tech Video Contest. Participants delighted in watching the film entries and hoped that they would come out as winners in the top three.

It’s a special treat for the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library to support the Teen Tech Video Awards. This contest offers local teens a unique way to share their love of reading, and allows an enormous online community to enjoy the videos produced for the competition. 

Contestants 13-18 created one-minute videos about their favourite books. Daniel Parkes Jr., an 18-year-old from Nepean, came in third and won a $75 gift certificate from Best Buy for his parody The Hunger Games – Katniss Interview. 15-year-old Sam Willets of Old Ottawa South came in second and won a Kobo eReader donated by Staples for his rendition of Lord of the Flies Trailer in claymation. The number one video, and winner of the Apple iPad, went to 17-year-old Kanata resident, Benjamin Reyes, with The Butter Battle Book Trailer, which was filmed in part at the Diefenbunker.

 To view all of this year’s submissions, please click here. And click here for photos from the awards night.

Sit on Our Board of Directors


Join the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association

The Friends are looking for Board and Committee members to start in June 2012

If you are interested in contributing to our libraries and becoming a member of a great team, send us an application form

Awesome Authors Award 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 365 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 41 winners who, they felt, produced the most impressive works.

On March 27th 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 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.

Planned Giving for 2012


Here are some of the programs and materials the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library will be funding this year:

Across the Ottawa Public Library system:

  • Gaming kiosks
  • Teen Tech Week
  • Teen Summer Reading
  • Teen Author Fest
  • Seniors programming
  • Business programming
  • Awesome Authors Youth Writing Contest
  • Early Literacy Spaces

See a list of some of the things we'll be providing for individual branches.

Lori Nash: In Memoriam


With heavy hearts we say goodbye to Lori Nash, former Friends of the Ottawa Public Library (FOPLA) President and long-time Ottawa library advocate who spearheaded campaigns to save eight threatened library branches and to share local politicians' attitudes about our libraries.

Lori was one of the founding members of the Friends of the Cumberland Library and helped to create the FOPLA group as we know it today after Ottawa's libraries were amalgamated.

She will be remembered fondly by Ottawa's library community, and her name has been memorialized with a room dedication at the Cumberland library.

Freedom to Read Week


"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."

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, AdBusters magazine, Harry Potter, Gossip Girl... Why not celebrate our freedom to read by picking up a book that has been challenged for censorship?

Be Kind to Your Library


Ottawa’s Kindness Week celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. Kind Ottawa has become a vibrant movement in our community, encouraging people to “choose to be kind” during Kindness Week and the rest of the year. The Friends of the Ottawa Public Library make it easy to be kind in your community. You can give back to the libraries Ottawa’s residents use and love by donating books, buying books in libraries or at special book sales, or volunteering to help organize the sale of used books. Or visit the Ottawa Public Library Foundation if you’d like to make a donation to your library.

Kindness Week 2012 takes place from February 17–24, so stop by your local library this week to drop off some books, cd’s or movies you can no longer use. And if you live near a branch with a book sale, you can stop by and get a small gift for someone you know. Spread the kindness and support our libraries.

Family Literacy (Every) Day


January 27th is Canada’s Family Literacy Day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate literacy for all ages throughout the year! There are tons of ways to incorporate reading and storytelling into your weekly routine without hurting your budget. Of course the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) offers materials and activities to families for free all year long. And while you’re at the library, you can stop by one of our Friends of the OPL book sales to pick up some great books for pocket change. Buying bargain books with allowance earnings can be a great way to teach your child financial literacy, while promoting reading.

If you’re looking for some word games you can print out at any time, click here for a list of tips and activities you can use to get children excited about reading. Happy learning!

Coming up...


Real People. Real Conversations. The Human Library event is coming to Ottawa on Saturday, January 28th from 11:00a.m. - 3:00 p.m. The Ottawa Public Library is holding this event in partnership with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Ottawa (CBC Ottawa) and the Canadian War Museum (CWM).

Visit one of the five participating library branches or the Canadian War Museum to book an appointment with someone for 30 minutes of conversation. Find out about some of the most life-changing events that occured in the last century from people who have experienced them firsthand. 

And if your discussion motivates you to read more about a particular time in history take out some books from the library or stop by one of our Friends of the Ottawa Public Library book sales to satisfy your desire for knowledge.

The event will take place at these locations:

Main Library

Greenboro District Library

Nepean Centrepointe branch

Cumberland branch

Stittsville branch

Canadian War Museum