As advocates of a strong public library system we raise over $250,000 each year for library materials and services not covered by the regular municipal budget, with most funds coming from the operation of used bookstores, self-serve bookshelves in library branches, and specialty book sales run by volunteers.

Latest News

Remembering Mr. Ernest Côté


We would like to recognize Mr. Ernest Côté, who died on February 25th, 2015 at the age of 101, for all of his work supporting and championing the Ottawa Public Library in his lifetime.

Mr. Côté, a WWII veteran and senior federal public servant, was a longstanding member of the OPL Board of Directors, serving as Board Chair for several years in the 1980s. During his tenure he co-founded our library’s Friends group (FOPLA) and established the FOPLA trust fund with his own funds, convincing others to contribute as well. He then served on the trust fund committee, managing its growth for many years. 

Later, in recognition of FOPLA’s 25th anniversary in 2006, Mr. Côté co-created the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Scholarship along with FOPLA, providing a generous donation to establish the fund. This scholarship was created to benefit students of the Information Studies program at the University of Ottawa. FOPLA aimed to add to the fund incrementally until it became self-sustainable but, after receiving a Christmas card from Lori Nash (a former FOPLA president) in December 2009, Mr. Côté committed to a second sizable donation to help the scholarship fund achieve sustainable status. 

Mr. Côté challenged FOPLA and the Ottawa Public Library Foundation to match his contribution, and all contributions were subsequently matched by the University of Ottawa, bringing the scholarship fund’s total to $100,000. This allowed for scholarships for future librarians from the National Capital Region to be awarded from the interest earned from the fund. One (and sometimes two) eligible student(s) can now receive a $2000 scholarship each year.

Mr. Côté will be remembered as a notable advocate and benefactor of libraries and librarianship in this city.

A Blog Post from a Book Sale Fan!

Photo: Maple Books

There's a large community of bibliophiles across the city, and our Monthly Mammoth Used Book Sale is a regular haunt for those looking for special gems to add to their book collections. We were delighted to find a blog post celebrating our book sales from one such fan.

Read it here: The Mini-Mammoth, the Eight Books and the Guilty Loonie

A Worthy Investment

Photo: Doublespace Photography

Three years ago we made a commitment to make three annual donations of $33,000 to the Ottawa Public Library, earmarked for the grand expansion and renovation of the city’s third busiest branch. The Beaverbrook branch grew from 9,000 square feet to 24,000 and now that the Beaverbrook branch has reopened to the public in the summer of 2014, we get to see how our dollars have contributed to the new space. 

Our Friends’ group’s donation was put to use in the children’s area of the library, purchasing picture book shelving, a ‘reading, play, and display’ wall, an interactive story time tree trunk, wall art, and interactive panels. 

Librarians imagined a children’s space filled with learning activities, and the architect created the early learning space to meet their needs. 

more »

Donate Now Through!

FOPLA's 2014 Contributions

Latest Events

Greenboro Friends Used Book Sale


By the Book, a used bookstore and cafe operated by the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA), is holding its monthly half-price book sale at 363 Lorry Greenberg Dr.

Drop by for great buys on hundreds of books (most under $2).

Saturday, April 4
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Monthly Mammoth book sale!


Our mammoth sized book sale in a monthly format (September - May)

Next sale:

Saturday, April 18th
10 am to 2 pm

At the James Bartleman Archives and Library Materials Centre

(100 Tallwood Drive)

Rockcliffe Park Book Sale

10,000 + donated books at bargain prices!

Collectors’ table, DVDs, CDs, and vinyl!

Rockcliffe Park Community Hall, 380 Springfield Road, Ottawa

Saturday, April 11: 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday, April 12: 11 am – 5pm

Cash and cheques only please!

Proceeds support the Rockcliffe Park Branch of the Ottawa Public Library

For more information:

Special Arctic Display at Second Editions Bookstore


Beginning March 2nd, Second Editions bookstore at the Nepean-Centrepointe library will showcase the Arctic with a special display and book sale. The selection will include books related to travel, Inuit life, exploration, history, plant life, and history. Stop by our store to see the impressive range of materials.

Vanier Special Book Sale


Love to read a real book and get a great deal? 

Friends of the Ottawa Public Library, Vanier Branch, 310 Pères Blancs

Vanier Used Book Sale
Sunday, March 29

Book a time to browse our books


Can’t wait until the next Mammoth sale to find a good book?

Visit us by appointment any weekday! We have thousands of books for you to peruse.

Just call our volunteers at (613) 580-2424 ext. 27875 to arrange a time to visit.

James Bartleman Centre
100 Tallwood Dr. - Room 149

FOPLA is a non-profit group that supports Ottawa’s public libraries. If you visit us by appointment we ask that you make a $5 minimum donation, which will be credited toward your purchase. 

more »