OLA Advocacy Committee


Library Day at Queen's Park
People need libraries for every stage of their lives. Public, school, academic, government, health, and special/corporate libraries are positioned to serve and support the unique needs of their users. Commencing November, 2014 OLA will host a Library Day at Queen's Park annually. The focus of the day will be to engage decision makers in understanding what our libraries do, and how they bring value to our communities.


Public Service Announcements
Skywords Media is OLA's radio media partner and have created a series of PSA's aired on local radio stations. Download and use locally to promote libraries!

Committee Members:

Co-Chair: Bessie Sullivan (County Public Library System)
Co-Chair: Jesse Carliner (Academic Library - University)
Sherry Lawson (First Nation Public Library)
Dawn Telfer (School Library)
Jason Bird (Academic Library - College)
Ex-Officio members:
Current OLA President
Shelagh Paterson, Executive Director, OLA
Sarah Roberts, Advocacy& Research Officer, OLA

OLA Advocacy Committee Terms of Reference:

Reporting to the OLA Board of directors, the OLA Advocacy Committee will:
  • provide broad advice on systemic issues;
  • provide specialized expertise/resources on a specific issue/topic that arises (i.e. copyright, Community Access Program (CAP), Library Archives Canada (LAC) and other cuts to funding);
  • facilitate networking and communication opportunities relating to advocacy;
  • identify advocacy needs and resources (i.e. toolkits, individuals, associations) while working in conjunction with specific sectors;
  • support government relations strategies; and
  • communicate advocacy efforts to stakeholders.


Member terms generally run for a period of 3 years. Members will bring expertise from their own sectors while supporting an overall advocacy mandate. Committee members are recruited from the OLA membership at large, as required.
Co-Chairs will be appointed annually from within the committee. Terms are staggered terms of 2 years. Co-chairs are responsible for coordinating the agenda, facilitating meetings, ensuring portfolios are assigned, liaising with OLA Executive Director and reporting to the OLA Board.
Membership shall represent the diversity of the following sectors:
  • Academic, ideally representing college and university (2)
  • First Nations
  • Public, ideally representing diverse needs: rural/urban (2)
  • Schools, ideally representing diverse needs: rural/urban; public/separate; elementary/secondary (2)

Ex-officio members will include: OLA President. The committee is supported by the OLA Executive Director and the OLA Communications & Marketing Co-ordinator.
As needed, a working committee will be created to complete specialized, time-limited projects.
OLA members who have an interest in a leadership role in library advocacy. Candidates should have advocacy experience, which may include: knowledge of current and systemic issues that affect libraries; experience with government relations and public policy; development of communication strategies; and expertise in social media, online engagement and new media technologies.
Committee members can expect a minimum of 3 meetings per year (mix of teleconference/in-person). The combined meeting and workload time (i.e. developing strategy, creating plans, attending meetings, building networks, etc.) is estimated to be approximately 6 days per year. OLA covers meeting expenses.
Committee formation approved by the OLA Board, Fall 2011. Last Revised November 2013.