Governance and Funding of Libraries

School Libraries

  • Municipal: School Trustees (elected)
  • Provincial: Ministry of Education

The Ontario Ministry of Education administers the system of publicly funded elementary and secondary school education.
School boards receive money in two ways. First, some of the property taxes collected in your community go to your local school board. Second, the province tops up this amount to bring the total for each board up to the amount set out by the funding formula. The provincial funding formula takes into account the many factors that make each school board unique. Funding for individual schools is the responsibility of the school boards. Occasionally there are increases to the funding formula for certain initiatives. There is a suggested funding formula to fund school libraries.

Public Libraries

  • Municipal: Public Library Trustees (appointed and includes some municipal councilors who are elected)
  • Provincial: Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries (MHSTCI)

The Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries administrates the Public Libraries Act and statutory grants under the Act and develops provincial policies for public libraries. Municipal councils are responsible for appointing public library boards and they provide most of the funding for libraries (municipal tax dollars). A funding formula consists of a mix of provincial and municipal funding based on population sizes.

First Nation Public Libraries

  • Band Councils
  • Provincial: Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries (MHSTCI), Federal Education funds

The traditional source of tax revenue for municipal public libraries does not exist for public libraries in First Nations communities. Instead, provincial funding for these libraries is administered by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries through the Public Library Operating Grant (PLOG) and the First Nation Salary Supplement Grant (FNSS). These funds provide on average $15,000/year to each of these existing libraries.
Federal funding for these libraries is taken from funds that are allocated for on-reserve education. Funding levels for on-reserve education are more than 30% lower than off-reserve, leaving little left to establish new libraries.
Band Councils are therefore tasked with providing essential support such as rent, hydro, internet, fax and telephone service.

Academic Libraries

  • Provincial: Ministry of Colleges, and Universities.

The Minister of Education and the Minister of Colleges and Universities are responsible for the administration of laws relating to education and skills training. The ministry is responsible for distributing funds allocated by the provincial legislature to colleges and universities. Colleges and Universities are also fee-based. The funding of academic libraries is at the discretion of the academic institution.