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Improved Technology Coming to York Region’s Public Libraries

Province Helping Libraries Offer IT and Digital Services for Communities

RICHMOND HILL -York Region MPPs, Steven Del Duca, Michael Chan, Dr. Helena Jaczek, Chris Ballard and Reza Moridi are pleased to announce Ontario is helping libraries across the province offer access to more technology in their communities, such as wireless internet connections, new computers, and e-books, as well as classes on topics like social media and computer literacy.

The province is celebrating Public Library Week with new funding for 5 Libraries and I Library Board in York Region which include:

  • Aurora Public Library Board: $4,818
  • Newmarket Public Library: $7,090
  • King Township Public LibrarU: $5,149            
  • Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library: $3,470
  • Markham Public Library: $30,932
  • Richmond Hill Public Library: $18,313

This funding helps increase access to technology for communities, and gets more people engaged in reading and learning at their local library.

The new technology enhancements coming to local libraries could include:

  • New hardware and software, including computers, tablets, 3D printers, music recording equipment, video conference equipment, computerized white boards, and technology to support people with disabilities
  • Updated digital collections, like e-books and audio books
  • Website development, to help make library websites more user-friendly
  • Internet improvements, like wireless access for the public and faster connections.

The funding also supports public training on topics like social media, internet use for beginners and computer literacy. Libraries will determine how their funding will be used, based on their specific local needs.

This investment builds on a commitment in Ontario’s first ever Culture Strategy to support Ontario’s public and First Nation libraries as essential spaces for access to cultural experiences, technology and community life.

Investing in Ontario’s public libraries is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

QUOTES

“The Richmond Hill Public Library is integral to the fabric of our community. This investment means that our library can continue to engage residents in exciting and innovative ways while improving its delivery of information technology.”

─ Reza Moridi, M.P.P., Richmond Hill 

“Our public libraries in Markham are busy places ̶ vibrant community hubs where residents of all ages can learn, study, explore and participate in programs.  This funding will help support our libraries to better serve the public with improvements to their technological infrastructure.”

Michael Chan, M.P.P., Markham-Unionville

“I am pleased that the Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund will bring new funding to libraries across York Region. Many individuals access our Public Libraries and through investments such as this one, our local libraries can improve their resources and provide greater opportunities for those who use their local library to access technology.”

Dr. Helena Jaczek, M.P.P., Oak Ridges-Markham

“Libraries are an important resource in our community.  This new funding will allow libraries to improve their current technology and help take learning to a whole new level.  Congratulations to the Newmarket and Aurora libraries, I can’t wait to see the positive impacts that it will bring to an already impeccable space.”

─ Chris Ballard, M.P.P., Newmarket-Aurora

“Investing in our public libraries to improve digital and IT services will ensure communities can provide up to date technology that will enhance the learning experience for those who use this resource.”

Steven Del Duca, M.P.P., Vaughan

“Public libraries are an important resource for people of all ages; they offer high-quality programs and services that have a positive impact on Ontarians across the province. By improving access to digital and IT resources, we are helping libraries evolve with technology, which is essential in today’s knowledge economy.”
Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

QUICK FACTS

  • York Region is receiving $69,772. for 5 local libraries and 1 library board. The province is providing $2.5 million across Ontario as part of a $10-million investment over three years, through the Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund.
  • In addition to helping libraries improve digital and IT services, the Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund supported 10 new research and innovation projects.
  • There are more than 1,100 public libraries across Ontario, with almost 70 million in-person visits each year.
  • Since 2003, the Ontario government has invested more than $545 million in public and First Nation libraries.
  • Ontario Public Library Week was first announced by the province in 1985. This year, it takes place from October 16-22.
  • This investment aligns with the government’s commitment to support community hubs and help Ontarians in their everyday lives by making it easy to access multiple services under one roof within their communities.

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