Our Beginnings

The Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA) was created through the amalgamation of three previous library friends groups on New Year’s Day in 2003. The merger involved the Friends of the Nepean Library, the Friends of the Cumberland Library, and the Friends of the Ottawa Library.

When we amalgamated, FOPLA only operated four bookstores, ran the Mammoth Book Sale, and sponsored the Awesome Authors contest and the Ottawa Public Library Foundation. Now we run 26 bookstores, hold the Monthly Mammoth book sales and other special sales, and publish the winning entries from the Awesome Authors contest in the pot-pourri anthology so readers can see Ottawa’s young writers’ work in print. We collaborate with the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) to ensure that our libraries continue to be spaces of knowledge, entertainment, and community.

FOPLA was one of the first Friends of the Library groups in Canada, becoming a registered charity in 1981. It has grown to become the leading fundraising Friends organization in Canada!

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