Showing posts with label ontario library association. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ontario library association. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


Karen and I have just reissued a revised edition of our older Public Library Boards in Postwar Ontario, 1945-1985. It was originally published in 1988 as an occasional paper by the University of Dalhousie School of Library and Information Science. Long out of print. But now its back in print again with updated information for the original text and references plus a new chapter to continue the story from 1985 to just before 2010. Most of the original text has been retained.

Contemporary library boards in Ontario are mostly administrative entities, but this was not always the case. Local government today is very different from the pre-1945 era. Over the years, accountability has trumped representation (a political concept) in local government and provincial statutes controlling local agencies. The municipal government has overtaken many local bodies--clearly, elected local officials in larger government entities created after the 1960s in restructuring exercises now hold powerful positions in relation to other community agencies. But councils are by no means absolute. Local representative agencies, such as Ontario library boards, still possess interesting positions in local decision making and continue to exist through separate provincial legislation (for public libraries dating to 1882) and retain some influence over services.

The transformative period for Ontario library boards was no doubt framed by the remarkable growth and development of local government after 1945. By 1985, with the enactment of new library legislation, the issue of accountability for non-elective library boards was mostly resolved. Since that time, trustees and boards have accepted  new roles and power relationships alongside municipal councils. But the original sense of community representation still remains a strong element in thinking about library operations and administration.

You can get a free preview for this book on Google. The contents and paging for the new version of Public Library Boards is as follows:

1.  Introduction                                                                                                          1
2.  Library Boards Prior to 1945                                                                               3
3.  Political Representation and Responsibility                                                          15
4.  Influence, Power and Authority of Local Boards                                                   30
5.  Intergovernmental Planning for Public Libraries                                                    50
6.  Professionalism in Library Administration                                                            81
7.  Trusteeship, the Internet, and the Digital Library                                                   95
8.  Conclusion                                                                                                          128
Tables                                                                                                                      131

If you are interested in having a copy, you can get a preview and request a copy for $15.00 by going to

Thursday, July 19, 2012


A follow up from my previous history of public library growth in Ontario, Free Books for All: the Public Library Movement in Ontario, 1850-1930. If you want a print copy at $35, please contact me by email at You can preview Places to Grow at the Google Bookstore and read what people are saying by going to the following link.

Places to Grow covers the history of the development of Ontario's public library system from the Great Depression to the Millennium. It describes the growth of larger systems of service, plans in the 1950s and 1960s for a provincial library system centred in Toronto, the professional growth of librarianship, library architecture, the decline of censorship and growth of intellectual freedom, library automation, the rise of electronic libraries,  the impact of the Information Highway in the nineties, and many other issues. Chapters include:

1. Introduction                           
2. Depression and Survival                   
Broader Perspectives: Libraries in Canada
The Public Libraries Branch and the OLA
Modern Methods
Local Libraries in the Great Slump
County Library Associations
School Curriculum Revision and the Public Library
The Libraries Recover
3. War and the Home Front                   
Military Libraries and American Allies
Wartime Services and Planning
The Spirit of Reconstruction
Peacetime Prospects
4. Postwar Renewal, 1945-55
The Library in the Community                  
Revised Regulations and Legislation
Postwar Progress and the Massey Commission
Intellectual Freedom and the Right to Read
The Hope Commission Report, 1950
New Media and Services
Setting Provincial Priorities
5. Provincial Library Planning, 1955-66           
Library Leadership and Professionalism
Book Selection and Censorship
The Wallace Report, 1957
The Provincial Library Service and Shaw Report
The Sixties: Cultural and Societal Change
Towards the St. John Survey and Bill 155
6. “Many Voices, Many Solutions, Many Opinions,” 1967-75                   
The Centennial Spirit
Reorganizing Local Government
Schools and Libraries
Regional and Local Roles
Reaching New Publics and Partners
The Learning Society and Cultural Affairs
The Bowron Report
7. Review and Reorganization, 1975-85           
“Canadian Libraries in Their Changing Environment”
“Entering the 80’s”
The Programme Review
A Foundation for the Future
The Public Libraries Act, 1984
8. The Road Ahead: Libraries 2000               
New Directions and Consolidation
Legal Obligations
One Place to Look: A Strategic Plan for the Nineties
The Information Highway
 Savings and Restructuring, the Megacity, and Bill 109
The Millennium Arrives

If you are interested in having a copy, you can get a preview and request a copy for $35.00 by going to
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