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VO is recruiting and deploying volunteers to respond to the volunteer needs specific to COVID-19 in Ottawa, Prescott-Russell, Lanark County and Renfrew County while ensuring proper screening and training protocals to safeguard the health of those volunteering and those they are assisting. Please see the intake portals for volunteers, for members, and for other agencies on our hompage. VO’s COVID 19 volunteer deployment program is supported by the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund and the Ottawa Community Foundation.

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Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association

Jackie Young
Communications Officer & Administrative Assistant
Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association
Aboriginals (First Nation, Metis, Inuit); Visible Minorities or New Canadians; LGBTTQ; Men; Youth (16-18 years); Youth (11-15 years); Children (0-10 years); Seniors; Women; Youth (19-24 years)

The Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA) help to support and promote the services of the Ottawa Public Library. Run by dedicated volunteers, FOPLA helps the Ottawa Public Library meet its goal of creating a strong library community in Ottawa.

Through advocacy and fundraising, including our popular used book stores and Mammoth Monthly sales events, FOPLA provides over $350,000 of support annually to the Ottawa Public Library for services and materials not covered by their municipal budget. If literacy is important to you, volunteer with FOPLA today and help make a difference to Ottawa's library community.

Volunteer Opportunities

Have you been searching for a fulfilling volunteer leadership experience? Do you have time and expertise to dedicate, but haven’t quite found the right fit?

Let us introduce ourselves. We’re the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association, or FOPLA. It’s a mouthful, but there’s a lot of great work happening behind that name, and we hope you’ll join us.

FOPLA is a 99% volunteer-run organization that supports the Ottawa Public Library through fundraising and advocacy. We sell donated books, vinyl, and other neat stuff at sales and used bookstores in more than 25 library branches across Ottawa. Every year, we donate the proceeds back to the Ottawa Public Library to enhance their programs and services. We’ve donated more than $4 million to the Ottawa Public Library since 2003. Amazing, right?

The FOPLA President provides leadership to the Board of Directors and ensures that the Board adheres to its By-law and policies in the execution of FOPLA’s six functional areas: Governance and Policy; Financial Stewardship; Sales and Operations; Organizational Development; Internal and External Communications; and Advocacy.


• Identifies challenges and emerging issues faced by the organization.
• Contributes to FOPLA’s strategic planning process.
• Coordinates the development and execution of the Strategic Plan, fundraising activities, and the maintenance of FOPLA membership.
• Chairs meetings of the Board, the Executive Committee, and the general membership.
• Serves as an ex-officio member of committees and attends their meetings when needed.
• Acts as a signing officer for cheques and documents, such as grants, contracts, and applications, and authorizes non-forecast expenditures.
• Provides oversight, direction, guidance, and mentorship to the Treasurer, Secretary, Directors, and staff in the execution of their duties.
• Ensures FOPLA maintains contact with the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA), the Ontario Library Association (OLA), and the U.S. Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF).
• Represents FOPLA with the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) according to our Memorandum of Understanding and ensures good, collaborative relations with OPL senior management and staff.
• Participates in the supervision, evaluation, and compensation decisions of FOPLA staff and consultants.
• Serves as a member of the Executive Committee.

Other things you need to know:

Commitment: Our Board members are elected to two-year terms. It’s common for new or interested Board members to attend meetings or speak with current members to learn more about us before committing.

Hours: Between 10-15 hours per month. Members of the Executive Committee (including the President) may be required to dedicate more time. Most Board activities occur on evenings, though there may be occasional weekend and daytime activities depending on availability.

Meetings: Our Board normally meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month from 6:30PM-8:30PM at alternate East/West branches of the Ottawa Public Library. Since March 2020, all meetings have been virtual using Cisco’s WebEx and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Location: We sell used books at more than 25 locations in the greater Ottawa area.

Governance: We are a fully incorporated, registered Canadian charity. We carry Directors Liability Insurance for our Board Members at all times.

Language: English proficiency is required, and French is an asset. Other languages welcome.

Financial: Board members are required to be a FOPLA Member in good standing. Membership costs $25 per year, $45 for a two-year membership, or $250 for a lifetime membership.

Age: Board members must be at least 18 years of age.

Communication: Board members must have internet access for FOPLA email and meetings.

To learn more about FOPLA, go to
Location: Virtual for the foreseeable future
Deadline: Feb 15, 2021