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OTF grant provides technology to residents of Spanish

An Ontario Trillium Foundation grant has led to improved technology for the Spanish Public Library.

Library board chair Rene Mader says the library received a grant of just over $23,000 late last year to buy lending technology and an online service for users.

He says the work has now been done with the purchase of the Hoopla Digital subscription service, which provides instant access to eBooks, audiobooks, and streamed movies, television, music and comics.

Mader says in addition to the upgrades,  laptops, tablets and Wi-Fi hotspots are now available for users.

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He points out the COVID pandemic has highlighted the need for libraries to adopt different approaches to delivering services, and a more virtual approach is becoming the norm, rather than the exception.

When asked about the special funding received by the Spanish Public Library, MPP Michael Mantha stated, “The generous support that OTF provides to our communities in Algoma-Manitoulin never ceases to amaze me.” He explained that Northern Ontario has been playing technological catch-up for far too long. “If our youth and our local businesses are going to be able to compete in the growing global economy, we need to be on a level playing field. This generous OTF grant is a great technological step forward for the Spanish community. To learn and develop skills, people need to have access. This grant will help to demonstrate to our government leaders how vital access to affordable, up-to-date highspeed technology is to the people of Algoma-Manitoulin,” added Mantha.

“Funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation has allowed us to redesign our workplace to reflect the new awareness of physical distancing and possible viral transmission. The library was also able to develop new ways to access services via curbside pickups or home logins to new online library platforms,” said Rene Mader, Chair of the Spanish Public Library. “The way that society accesses and shares information has changed. The COVID pandemic has highlighted the need for libraries to evolve with this new direction. The financial support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation has enabled our library to quickly adapt to the changing environment and to continue providing services to our community.”
The mission of the Spanish Public Library is to support its community members in their pursuit of knowledge for personal enrichment, enjoyment and educational needs. The provision of knowledge will be through the most current, economical and accessible forms of media material. The library will work together with its community members in making the change from the traditional forms to the newer social and technological media.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

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