Important Updates Regarding COVID-19

Updated as of April 6, 2020, 2:00 PM EST

Read Library Updates Regarding COVID-19 from OLA:

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Resources for Libraries
Member Services Updates:

Operations
Membership
Events
Education Institute
The Library Marketplace
Forest of Reading
Member Benefits


COVID-19 is considered a pandemic by the World Health Organization and many organizations and institutions are adapting to this fluid situation. We are committed to continuing to effectively serve our members, while keeping our staff, volunteers, and members safe.

As of March 17, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health requires closure of all public libraries. On March 23, the Ontario Government ordered the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces for 14 days and extended the state of emergency on March 30 until April 13.

Public libraries can share information about how they are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic through this form


Resources for Libraries

Resources from OLA:

Updates from the Ontario Government:

  • March 31: The closure of Ontario's public schools was extended until May 4 for students.
  • March 30: The State of Emergency in Ontario was extended until April 13, 2020.
  • March 27: Message from the Ministry of Heritage, Tourism, Sport and Culture Industries (MHTCS)
  • March 23: The Ontario Government ordered the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces effective as of Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 PM for at least 14 days.
  • March 19: The Municipal Emergency Act, 2020 passed the Ontario legislation, giving municipalities the ability to "fully conduct Council, local board and committee meetings electronically when faced with local and province-wide emergencies, empowering the government's municipal partners to respond quickly when in-person meetings cannot be held." As library boards make decisions about how to hold their upcoming board meetings, OLBA has shared a resource to help boards understand some of the options available to them.
  • March 17: Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health required closure of all public libraries.
  • March 17: Private schools were directed to close until March 31, when the order will be reassessed.
  • March 12: All publicly funded Ontario schools were ordered to remain closed from March 14 through April 5, 2020.

Other Updates and Resources:

Member Services Updates

Here are updates and changes to OLA's services, in response to this rapidly changing situation:

Operations
  • As of March 17, our Toronto-based office is closed to the public. OLA staff will continue to work and respond to members' inquiries remotely. We will be available via our main phone number (416-363-3388) and email at info@accessola.com. Please note that there may be a delay in response to email and phone inquiries. We appreciate your patience.
  • Health and safety protocols and procedures are in place for staff who may feel unwell or who may be directly affected by COVID-19. OLA provides sick leave to staff. For more information, please contact hr@accessola.com.
  • Upcoming in-person meetings at the OLA office have been moved to teleconference.

Membership Renewals

  • For those members whose membership were set to expire during the month of March, we have extended these memberships until April 30 at no cost.
  • We will continue to evaluate expired memberships as this situation progresses and we will notify members whose membership will be expiring soon.

Events

  • OLA has postponed two upcoming events RA in a Day and OCULA Spring Conference and has cancelled the Forest of Reading Festival.
  • OLA values the health and safety of our members and the communities that they serve, and is monitoring information coming from Toronto Public Health, the Ontario Health Ministry, and the Canadian Public Health Agency on an ongoing basis to determine next steps for other upcoming events scheduled for 2020.

Education Institute

The Library Marketplace

  • The Library Marketplace is monitoring all packages shipped to and from OLA. The borders between Canada and the US have officially closed for all non-essential travel purposes.
  • As our office is currently closed, The Library Marketplace will not be placing orders for out of stock material at this time.
  • You can still place orders online with us or purchase gift certificates, however, deliveries from orders purchased from March 17 and onwards will be delayed until further notice.
  • Due to the inconvenience of delays, we are offering all socks at 40% off. Once you have added a pair of socks to your cart, enter the code WECARE at checkout.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at orders@accessola.com

Forest of Reading

We made a number of changes to major aspects of the program so readers and parents have full access to the program during these times:
  • Password Website: The Forest of Reading is a paid program, however, in these unprecedented times, it is important for our children, educators and library staff to have access to our program. The password website, which was previously only accessible to current registrants, is now open to the public for free at forestofreading.com. With over 500 resources for this year's nominated titles and virtual author visits previously recorded, there is so much content for people to use.
  • Voting: We have extended voting in the school-aged programs until June 1. Voting can be done through the Forest of Reading website under "Voting in the School-Aged Programs" in the top menu.
  • Forest Fridays/Mercre-LIT: Virtual author visits will continue. Live virtual author visits are capped at 100 people. If you are unable to join live, we will post the recording link immediately following the visit. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

GoodLife Membership Benefit

  • All Goodlife memberships have been put on hold and all associated payments were stopped March 17.
  • Members who have purchased a Paid-in-Full annual membership will receive an extension in their current expiry date reflective of the total time GoodLife clubs remain closed.

Perkopolis Membership Benefit

  • Perkopolis has curated offers for working from home and being home with the family. You can find this information on their main page under the "Featured Perks."

The Personal Membership Benefit

  • The Personal Insurance Company website now includes an important notice message which directs members to a landing page dedicated to the current situation to keep our members apprised of pertinent information from their organization and to provide updates as they become available.

OLA will also continuously monitor information coming from Toronto Public Health, the Ontario Health Ministry, and the Canadian Public Health Agency.

We will inform you as we know more. You can check in with us for updates on this webpage.

We recognize that these are unprecedented times and we are committed to supporting and connecting our members and registrants.

Thank you for your continued support as we work together through this rapidly changing situation. Stay safe, stay healthy.