May 25, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Ontario Library Service continues to implement the Connecting Public Libraries Initiative, a $4.85M project investment made by the Province of Ontario to upgrade broadband internet service at approximately 50 public libraries in unserved and underserved communities across the province. To date through the Connecting Public Libraries Initiative (CLI), 13 public library branches have been connected with improved speeds of at least 50/10mbps. This improved connection reaches over 35,000 Ontarians providing more reliable connectivity through the local public library. This will enable greater participation in critical services such as online health care, remote work, and online education.
Today, we share the exciting news that Beausoleil First Nation Public Library has been connected. With funding from this project, a new tower was constructed, which will enable the entire community to access faster and more reliable internet, not just the library.
“Our government is proud to invest in Ontario’s libraries as a key pillar of building strong and vibrant communities that support lifelong learning and help develop the talent and skills of Ontarians,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “A faster, more reliable internet connection will help the surrounding community access essential resources and services through the Beausoleil First Nation Public Library”
Beausoleil First Nation is located at the Southern tip of Georgian Bay on Christian Island Ontario. There are approximately 800 year-round residents of this First Nation. The Island’s main access is by ferry and by ice road or hover craft in the winter months. Through participation in this project, the Beausoleil First Nation Public Library can now access internet speeds previously unattainable; enabling staff and patrons more reliable access to services and resources. Additionally, this funding provides improved connection and a robust infrastructure to address the community’s broader needs.
“Our government is making significant progress in bringing high-speed internet access to every community across the province by the end of 2025,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “Through the Connecting Public Libraries initiative, the Beausoleil First Nation Public Library will now have access to reliable internet connections for their community. Through this initiative, we are providing residents with access to digital supports and services they need to work, learn and connect with their loved ones.”
Jon D’Alessandro President of Community Network Partners said of the project “We are proud to support the OLS in their mission to improve internet services for libraries across the province. Communities such as Beausoleil First Nation, who for far too long have remained underserved can now enjoy reliable access to essential resources. Together, we are committed to continuing to work towards ensuring equal access to internet services through the Connecting Public Libraries Initiative.”
“It was quite an honour for me to be able to provide this updated connectivity service to the patrons of our library” said Kathleen Copegog CEO of Beausoliel First Nation Public Library. “Our patrons are very happy with the higher internet speed that they are experiencing and coming out more to the library to access the information that they require. Knowing that this helps our community as well brings me great pleasure as I know a lot of people suffer from very poor connectivity in their homes. Thank you to Ontario Library Service for choosing Beausoleil First Nation Public Library to take part in the Connecting Public Libraries Initiative!”
The Connecting Public Libraries Initiative is administered by the Ontario Library Service on behalf of the Government of Ontario. “This investment demonstrates a recognition of the important role Ontario’s First Nation Public Libraries play in providing reliable and effective internet access,” said Mellissa D’Onofrio-Jones CEO, Ontario Library Service. “This improvement means that not only do library patrons have access to improved connectivity, but the whole community can also benefit from the new infrastructure.”
Please contact Mellissa D’Onofrio-Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
(News release link)