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Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund – Research and Innovation


The Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund (OLCF) is a $10 million investment over three years that recognizes the key role public libraries play in building strong, vibrant communities across the province.

The OLCF Research and Innovation (OLCF R&I) supports new, replicable research and innovative projects that will have the potential for a positive impact on Ontario’s public libraries.

Projects are eligible for one or two years of funding beginning no sooner than the date of funding approval and ending on or before March 31, 2017 for one-year projects and March 31, 2018 for two-year projects.

A maximum of $100,000 is available per year; $200,000 over two years.

The program’s priorities are to:

1. Measure and evaluate the impact of public libraries on their communities and the wellbeing of Ontarians.

2. Strengthen and enhance the role of public libraries as community hubs that are focused on creating cultural, educational, social and economic opportunities.

3. Encourage the development of new ways to engage with and meet the changing needs of all Ontarians.

4. Develop new strategies and processes for identifying and preparing leadership candidates for success in senior management roles within the Ontario public library sector.


The application deadline for the OLCF R&I has passed.

Eligibility Requirements

Public libraries and public library organizations are eligible to apply for an OLCF R&I grant. Organizations that do not meet these criteria may participate as partners.

Applicants must be one of the following:

  • an Ontario public library, funded under the Public Libraries Act
  • an incorporated Ontario public library organization representing or working on behalf of public libraries
  • an Ontario Library Service agency
  • an incorporated national public library organization, with Ontario representation

Applicants must show that their proposed project meets the following criteria:

  • is a research or innovation project
  • directly supports at least one of the OLCF R&I priorities
  • will have a positive impact on the public library sector, as a whole, or a significant segment of that sector (such as First Nations or northern public libraries)
  • is replicable, scalable and/or applicable to communities outside your own
  • will not replicate projects previously done in the public library sector
  • will be measurable and widely adoptable or adaptable
  • will be undertaken in Ontario (can be part of a national project, or project taking place in more than one province)

Program Guidelines

Before filling out the OLCF R&I application, you must:

If you are not yet registered on Grants Ontario, you must complete the one-time two-step registration process as soon as possible.

The registration process can take up to 5 business days. Instructions on how to complete this process are provided in OLCF R&I Program Guidelines Part II, Section 2.

For assistance with Grants Ontario registration or application submission, please contact Grants Ontario customer service:

Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST
Toll Free: 1- 855-216-3090 or in the GTA: (416) 325-6691.
Email: GrantsOntarioCS@ontario.ca

For instructions on how to apply for an OLCF R&I grant, go to Part II – Application Guidelines.


Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Programs and Services Branch
Culture Programs Unit

Last updated: January 21, 2016