Please help us keep this up to date. Email any changes to Kelly at email@example.com
Amanda Ward-Pereira, Law Librarian
444 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie
Chris Wyskiel, Library Technician
Brant County Courthouse, 70 Wellington Street, Brantford
Laurie McDonald, Library Assistant
County Court House, 207 Cayley Street, P.O. Box 818, Walkerton
Ottawa Courthouse, Gordon F. Henderson Library
Jennifer Walker, Head Librarian
Brenda Lauritzen, Reference Librarian
Amanda Elliott, Library Technician
Ottawa Courthouse, Law Library, 161 Elgin Street, Room 2004, Ottawa
Jenny Wong, Law Librarian
Court House, 48 Spruce Street North, P.O. Box 274, Timmins
Marilyn Elkin, Law Librarian
51 Zina Street, Orangeville
Jennie Clarke & Lee Holstead, Law Librarians
Court House, 150 Bond Street East, Oshawa
Alex Bradley, Law Librarian
4 Wellington Street, St. Thomas
Doug Hewitt, Kemala Vranjes, & Cathleen Croshawas, Law Librarians
245 Windsor Avenue, Windsor
Jackie Hassefras, Library Technician
Frontenac County Courthouse, 5 Court Street, Kingston
Ronn Cheney, Library Technician
611 - 9th Avenue East, Owen Sound
Lena Witzel, Library Assistant
55 Munsee Street North, P.O. Box 459, Cayuga, N0A 1E0
Karen Cooper, Law Librarian
Shega Berisha firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendy Spearing email@example.com
Nicole Strandholm firstname.lastname@example.org
45 Main Street East, Suite 500, Hamilton, L8N 2B7
Judith Dale, Library & Information Technician
Quinte Consolidated Courthouse, Suite 2900 - 15 Bridge Street West, Belleville
Barb Alcock, Library Assistant
Court House, 3rd Floor, One The Square, Goderich
Maria Berezowski, Library Technician
Court House, 216 Water Street, Kenora
Karen Lauterbauch, Library Assistant
425 Grand Avenue West, Room 402, Chatham
Michelle Gerrits, Library Manager
700 Christina Street N. Suite 104, Sarnia
Liz Mitchell, Library Assistant
43 Drummond Street East, Perth
Lynda Cavanagh, Library Manager
County Court House, 41 Court House Square, Brockville
Carol Sirman, Library Assistant
97 Thomas Street East, Napanee
Kelly Elliott, Library Technician
Ken McGowan Law Library, 59 Church Street, St. Catharines
James Weppler, Lawyer
705-282-3354 (not toll-free)
Cynthia Simpson, Law Librarian
Shabira Tamachi, Library Technician
Jennifer Foster, Executive Director
Court House, 80 Dundas Street, Ground Floor, Unit "N", London ON, N6A 6A1
Patricia Harris, Library Assistant
Court House, Law Library, 3 Dominion Street, Bracebridge
Amanda Adams, Librarian
Nipissing Law Library, 360 Plouffe Street, North Bay
Lena Witzel, Library Assistant
50 Frederick Hobson VC Drive, Suite 502, Simcoe, N3Y 0E4
Ciara Ward, Librarian
Court House, 860 William Street, Cobourg
Carolyne Alsop, Librarian
415 Hunter Street, P.O. Box 1678, Woodstock
Patricia Harris, Library Assistant
District Court House, Law Library, 2nd Floor, 89 James Street, Parry Sound
Jo-Ann McQuillan, Executive Officer/Law Library Director
A. Grenville & William Davis Courthouse, 7755 Hurontario Street, Suite 160, Brampton
Gena Lowe, Librarian
Court House, 1 Huron Street, Stratford
Laura Dobbie, Librarian
Peterborough County Court House, Lois C. Davidson Law Library, 470 Water Street, Peterborough
Michelle Landriault, Library Assistant
1027 Queen Street, Box 540, L'Original
Margaret Katona, Library Assistant
District Court House, 333 Church Street, P.O. Box 276, Fort Frances
Sheri Proulx, Library Assistant
James W. Fraser Law Library
297 Pembroke Street East, Suite 1211, Pembroke
Court House, 4th Level, 75 Mulcaster Street, Barrie
Court House Library, 29 Second Street West, Cornwall
Kelsi-Ann Weist, Library Technician
District Court House, 155 Elm Street West, Sudbury
Melissa Judd, Library Assistant
Court House, 393 Main Street P.O. Box 3020, Haileybury
705-672-5655 (not toll-free)
Take a special peek inside the T-Bay Courthouse, Law Library & Law Lounge!
Helen Heerema, Library Technician
Courthouse, 2nd Floor, 125 Brodie Street North, Thunder Bay
Joan Rataic-Lang, Executive Director/Library Director
361 University Ave., Toronto
647-247-4782 ext 222
Gabrielle Gignac, Library Assistant
Court House, 440 Kent Street West, Lindsay
85 Frederick Street, Kitchener
Mary-Jo Petsche, Executive Director
R. Boak Burns Law Library, 102 East Main Street, Welland
John Kerr, Library Technician
Court House, 74 Woolwich Street, Guelph
Betty Dykstra, Librarian
Newmarket Courthouse, 50 Eagle Street West, 3rd Floor, Newmarket
InfoLocate (Search & location tool for resources held in the Great Library and the County & District Law Libraries)
FOR UPDATES ON LIRN, CLICK HERE
NEW MOBIL PORTAL
The Ontario Courthouse Libraries Association (OCLA) is excited to roll-out their new mobile friendly and lawyer-centric portal to all County and District Law Libraries in Ontario.
On the site, you'll find individual law library profiles highlighting services being offered.
• Highly visible quick link icons to contact information, location-based mapping, weather, and Association websites.
• Quick catalogue access to diverse resources, directly from the home page.
• A persistent header with a drop-down menu for easy navigation by Association or city.
• Information about hours, access, electronic resources, parking, robing rooms, lounge facilities, value added extras, and more.
Enhance your travel experience to another jurisdiction by visiting http://oclanet.com/webapp/
LiRN Consultations - June 2022
LiRN is holding consultations with stakeholders this over their Library Services & Management Responsibilities Policy HR Policy and Guidelines document that provides details on Law Library work vs. Association work, Law Library staff roles/responsibilities, and definitions of core Law Library services. Of note is Appendix A: Additional Library Services and Association Services & Duties (found on page 10). These are essentially services that LiRN deems to be associated with Law Association work as opposed to Law Library work and thus, work that is not covered by the LiRN funding grant.
On June 17th, FOLA held our Consultation meeting with LiRN and you can read a recap of our meeting here. Following that meeting, FOLA sent a letter to LiRN outlining FOLA's comments regarding the division of responsibilities between Libraries and Associations. You can read that letter here.
On July 12th, FOLA met with all LiRN Shareholders (the TLA, FOLA, and the LSO) to review and discuss this document with LiRN.
We anticipate receiving a copy of a revised document in early August and will advise on next steps at that time.
LiRN AGM 2021 Highlights
· LiRN Board
· Shareholder representatives (LSO, TLA, FOLA)
· The Advocates’ Society and the Law Foundation of Ontario each sent an observer
Since being established, LiRN has focused on establishing the Board, Board Committees and their Terms of Reference, recruiting and hiring a Managing Director, and collecting data to support the development of a strategic plan.
As of their 2021 AGM, the following Board members have retired: Andrew Gall; Ted Laan; and Justin Persaud and the following new Board members have joined: Augustine Krawchenko; Fernando Garcia; and Jessie Singh.
LiRN’s Strategic Plan is grounded in four priorities:
· LiRN is focused on the needs of courthouse library users, both now and in the future
· LiRN supports libraries and librarians
· LiRN collaborates with others working to provide legal information and library service prioritizing trust and respect
· LiRN makes evidence-based decisions
LiRN’s Immediate plans:
· Negotiate a core suite of electronic resources available to all law libraries;
· Work with a Human Resources consultant to develop job descriptions and salary guidelines
· Conduct a “hardware refresh” by equipping law libraries with the necessary hardware to operate in 2022.
LiRN BUDGET 2022 HIGHLIGHTS
The operating grant LiRN's 2022 budget is $8,542,000 and is primarily attributable to:
• reinstatement of the 10% reduction implemented in the 2021 budget;
• the provision of an additional 2% increase, and;
• the inclusion of funding for LiRN staffing, which was funded from LiRN’s General Fund balance in 2021.
LiRN has also received an additional $900,000 for the expansion of electronic resources available across the network, the related training of library staff to facilitate their ability to support users, and the necessary
investment in the information technology infrastructure required to support a shift to digital resources.
As you know, FOLA has long been advocating for increased funding for our law libraries. Following the 2021 Budget cuts, FOLA's advocacy kicked into high gear. We called, emailed, and texted Benchers to impress upon them the importance of our Courthouse Law Libraries.
Thank you! Let's keep this going to ensure that Benchers continue to understand their role in ensuring ongoing competency within the profession.
Concerned about the cuts to your local Courthouse library? Contact your Regional and local Benchers to let them know how important your library, the library resources, and the activities that take place there are to you! Are you on social media? We have some suggested messages and images ready for you to use! Alternatively, you can create your own! FOLA will share ALL your library-related posts!
Over March 2021, FOLA conducted a Courthouse Library Use Survey and prepared a White Paper titled " County and District Law Libraries: Ensuring Competency in the Profession and Access to Justice". Learn more and access the White Paper here.
LSO COMPETENCY TASK FORCE
At the LSO's June Convocation, the Competency Committee released their Report: "Renewing the Law Society’s Continuing Competence Framework".
OVERVIEW: The work plan of the Task Force includes four phases: discovery, development, design, and implementation. The Task Force has completed the discovery phase and is currently in the development phase of its work. This has included the creation of a working definition of competence and the identification of themes and principles to inform the design and implementation phases.
CALL FOR COMMENT: On June 23, 2021, the Competence Task Force’s Report: Renewing the Law Society’s Continuing Competence Framework was included as an Information Item to Convocation. The Report details the Law Society’s mandate to regulate the competence of lawyers and paralegals and provides an overview of how competence regulation has evolved to keep pace with regulatory best practices. The Report also provides an overview of the Task Force’s work plan, a working definition of competence, and proposed themes and principles which may inform new approaches to competence programs and requirements.
Most importantly, the Report includes comments on the importance of LiRN and of providing supports to small/soles.
The LSO has issued a Call for Comment and are open to the suggestions and feedback of all interested parties. You may respond to some or all of the questions within the Call for Comment until Nov. 30, 2021.
The Report notes the following re: LiRN:
“The competent provision of legal services requires access to legal information. There are two aspects to the Law Society’s legal information supports: the Great Library and the Legal Information and Resource Network (“LIRN”). Qualitative data gathered in 2015 as part of a needs assessment on library system use and future need indicated that library users attach tremendous value to legal information and library services.29 Legal information services play a key role in the development, maintenance and enhancement of licensee competence.”…“The second aspect of the Law Society’s legal information supports is LIRN. LIRN, formerly known as LibraryCo, is a not-for-profit corporation responsible for centrally managing and coordinating the county law library system, comprised of 48 law libraries across Ontario. LIRN’s mandate is ensuring that the Ontario county law library system’s services and programs meet the evolving needs of licensees and the public. LIRN is guided in its work by the principles established by its shareholders: the Law Society, the Federation of Ontario Law Associations and the Toronto Lawyers Association. LIRN is funded by the Law Society fees collected from lawyers. LIRN is responsible for managing these funds through allocating finances and resources to individual libraries.”
RE: Enhanced Support for Sole Practitioners, Small Firms and Individuals Transitioning to Independent Practice:
“As sole practitioners and small firms provide the overwhelming majority of legal services to individuals, families, and very small businesses, these practices are crucial in providing access to justice and their viability should be a priority for the Law Society.”
Concerned about the cuts to your local Courthouse library? Are you on social media? We have some suggested messages and images ready for you to use! Alternatively, you can create your own! FOLA will share ALL your library-related posts!
FOLA ADVOCACY WITH BENCHERS FOLLOWING THE LSO BUDGET CUTS
OTHER ASSOCIATION LETTERS
As you may know, the Law Society has been working to reduce costs across the board. As such, at their November Convocation, it was announced that LIRN would be receiving a 10% cut to their 2021 budget.
FOLA's position throughout this matter has been that the cost of maintaining a collection has not kept up with inflation nor the rising costs of materials. We have consistently pointed out that local Associations are using their own resources to meet the shortfalls which have arisen. Finally, we have pointed out that this is an issue effecting competence and that ensuring resources are available to all members should be a priority.
In an effort to avoid a significant reduction in funding, which has clearly been signaled by a group of benchers who are supportive of fee reductions, LIRN’s original budget proposal called for maintaining the current level of funding, with a view to developing a plan to maintain the quality of our collection but find efficiencies within the system including a more strategic approach to negotiating with legal publishers.
However, to accommodate this 10% cut in funding, the LIRN Finance and Audit Committee and the full Board met several times to discuss how to reduce the budget in a way that did not disproportionately affect any of the libraries. Their decision was not made lightly. Ultimately, the LIRN Board decided to reduce grant amounts based on $50,000 incremental thresholds as follows:
• 0 to $50,000 – 2%
• $50,000 to $100,000 – 4%
• $100,000 to $150,000 – 6%
• $150,000 to $200,000 – 8%
• $200,000 to $250,000 – 10%
• $250,000 to $300,000 ¬ 12%
• Over $300,000 – 14%
FOLA understands that it will not be easy for your associations and the libraries to implement these reductions, and we will do our best to support you throughout this challenging process while continuing to advocate for greater levels of funding.
COVID-19 NOTICE FROM LIRN - MARCH 2020
During March 2021, FOLA surveyed our membership and conducted other research to help articulate the importance of our law libraries. Together with the Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA), we have prepared a White Paper titled “County and District Law Libraries: Ensuring Competency in the Profession and Access to Justice” which draws on our survey findings and other research.
FOLA has shared our White Paper with Benchers and senior LSO staff and are following up with them to ensure they understand and appreciate the importance of our law library network is to our profession.
It is critical that Law Society Benchers and fellow lawyers understand and appreciate the enormous value Ontario's Courthouse libraries offer the practicing bar and their clients. FOLA hopes you find the suggested social media posts helpful and thanks you in advance for sharing them on social media. Don't forget to tag @LawSocietyLSO (the Law Society) @LIRN_Inc, @OCLALibraries, and @Ont_Law_Assoc (FOLA) on all your tweets! We'll retweet!
Looking for images, click here!
As the world shifts, libraries are going to look different, but there will always be a need for them, especially as electronic resources increasingly require prohibitive fees for access. The legal community needs a library where they can access those resources. @LawSocietyLSO @OCLALibraries @Ont_Law_Assoc @LIRN_Inc
My Courthouse Library is absolutely essential for comprehensive research tools and thus essential to ensuring access to justice @LawSocietyLSO @OCLALibraries @Ont_Law_Assoc @LIRN_Inc
Courthouse libraries provide lawyers in rural and remote communities with colleagues that they would not otherwise have. @LawSocietyLSO @Ont_Law_Assoc @OCLALibraries @LIRN_Inc
Courthouse libraries offer a one-stop-shop for key resources small firms and sole practicing lawyers cannot otherwise afford. @LawSocietyLSO @Ont_Law_Assoc @OCLALibraries @LIRN_Inc
Courthouse librarians offer lawyers the ability to provide informed counsel and representations to the Court, especially for clients that cannot afford the costs of other legal research providers. @LawSocietyLSO @Ont_Law_Assoc @OCLALibraries @LIRN_Inc
Our Courthouse Libraries provide for access to harder-to-find or niche resources, especially on issues that arise outside of main practice areas. @LawSocietyLSO @Ont_Law_Assoc @OCLALibraries @LIRN_Inc
Courthouse Libraries provide access to resources that are prohibitively expensive for sole or small firm practitioners @LawSocietyLSO @Ont_Law_Assoc @OCLALibraries @LIRN_Inc
Courthouse Libraries are Absolutely essential for comprehensive research tools and thus essential to ensuring access to justice @LawSocietyLSO @Ont_Law_Assoc @OCLALibraries @LIRN_Inc
“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A Librarian can bring you back the right one” Neil Gaiman @neilhimself @LawSocietyLSO @Ont_Law_Assoc @OCLALibraries @LIRN_Inc
Our Courthouse Libraries provide access to librarians to help make research more efficient and effective. @LawSocietyLSO @Ont_Law_Assoc @OCLALibraries @LIRN_Inc
Courthouse Libraries offer access to peers and senior counsel so that they can learn from each other, be collegial, and discuss cases – opportunities otherwise unavailable to sole practicing lawyers. @LawSocietyLSO @Ont_Law_Assoc @OCLALibraries @LIRN_Inc
Our Courthouse Libraries provide a physical space for the private, practicing bar to facilitate mentorship and to support professional development. @LawSocietyLSO @Ont_Law_Assoc @OCLALibraries @LIRN_Inc
Increasingly, Courthouse library staff are counted upon to respond to research and legal information requests by unrepresented individuals. @LawSocietyLSO @Ont_Law_Assoc @OCLALibraries @LIRN_Inc
Courthouse libraries are a living breathing part of the practice of law in many jurisdictions. It is a haven; an office; a provider of therapy; a matchmaking centre for mentors; a conduit to the Courts and Judiciary; an ideation place; a technology learning centre; and a law learning centre. @LawSocietyLSO @Ont_Law_Assoc @OCLALibraries @LIRN_Inc
The services, resources, and assistance from librarians through our Courthouse libraries can make the difference between being a good lawyer and a great lawyer. @LawSocietyLSO @Ont_Law_Assoc @OCLALibraries @LIRN_Inc
Your Courthouse Libraries help ensure that the public is served by legal professionals with high standards of learning and competence. @LawSocietyLSO @Ont_Law_Assoc @OCLALibraries @LIRN_Inc
Courthouse Libraries supports ongoing learning and development with a specific emphasis on the use and application of legal information, legal research, legal training and education, and social activities. @LawSocietyLSO @Ont_Law_Assoc @OCLALibraries @LIRN_Inc
What would lawyers working in Ontario or even our own law associations be without their Courthouse librarians? Do you know? Courthouse libraries and their staff work to provide research and reference services, access to legal materials and databases that have prices which are out of the reach of solo and small firms, as well as facilitating continuing education programming, along with networking and mentorship opportunities. Lawyers Daily
FOLA's 1st Vice Chair, Nathan Baker, in Lawyer's Daily. Lawyers Daily
Ontario's Courthouse Law Libraries, or Practice Resource Centers, remain a fundamental issue of interest for FOLA and its members. The preservation, improvement and sustainability of the system has been at the forefront of FOLA since before the inception of LibraryCo.
Timeline at a Glance
1800-1827: Establishment of the Great Library and it’s collections
1879: Committee formed to look at establishing “branch” libraries across province
1883: Consolidated Municipal Act, 1883, 46 v. c. 18. ss. 465 and 469 requires cities and towns to provide space in the local courthouse for the local bar
1980: County and District Law Presidents’ Association (CDLPA) established (now FOLA)
1987: Ontario Courthouse Librarians’ Association established -Brian Land’s report received by the LSO
1988: Book catalogues produced by the Law Society for county and district law libraries
1994: The “Hennessey Report” on funding of County and District Law Libraries
1995: The “Topp Report” on Funding of County and District Law Libraries
1998: Establishment of the Working Group that became known as the Elliott Committee
2001: LibraryCo established
2004-2006: Integration Task Force founded and begins work
2007: LibraryCo restructured
2020:Formation of LiRN
History: Before 2000
In the 1990’s libraries existed in all of the County Courthouses across Ontario. They were owned and operated by the local associations. They were funded, in large part and to varying degrees by the Law Society, who recognized that access to legal information was a critical part of assisting small town lawyers in serving their clientele and facilitating access to justice.
LibraryCo – 1st Generation
LibraryCo originally came about as the result of the efforts of the Law Society and FOLA to organize the County and District law libraries across the province, to establish a stable funding base for the libraries across the province, and to try and provide for some centralized administration and purchasing for the library system; while at the same time allowing the local County and District Law Associations to continue to manage the libraries and develop their collections in accordance with local needs. This came to be referred to as the “blended system”. LibraryCo was incorporated in 2001.
The first Unanimous Shareholders Agreement called for a Board of Directors of 15. The original Board of Directors included representatives of the Ontario Bar Association, the Ontario Courthouse Librarians Association, FOLA and the Law Society.
In April of 2002, LibraryCo produced its first five-year business plan entitled “Outof the Box and Beyond the Walls”. The Great Library was notably absent from that business plan. It appeared that the Great Library and LibraryCo were to exist in parallel universes.
As part of that business plan, LibraryCo embarked on a number of initiatives to organize and direct the County and District law libraries across the province. Among the less controversial initiatives was the development of a tiered system of libraries with five regional libraries, fifteen area libraries, and twenty-eight local libraries; the establishment of a core collection list and an“essentials” collection list for the libraries at each level; the establishment of salary bands and job descriptions for library staff; the provision of inter-library document delivery; the use of a uniform accounting package for each library through the Simply Accounting program.
As part of the “tiered” system of libraries, LibraryCo initially proposed to “de-staff” a total of fifteen local law libraries and impose certain restrictions on staffing and budgets for the remaining local law associations. This was the first effort to have legal information provided to lawyers in smaller centers without the benefit of local staff. The plan to de-staff fifteen local libraries was abandoned after vigorous protest from FOLA.
From FOLA’s perspective, LibraryCo also got itself in trouble early on when it started telling Associations how much to pay the library staff, started telling staff members what they did or did not have to do for the Associations, referring to the libraries as “LibraryCo libraries” and attempting to direct library staff on the management of the Law Association libraries without consulting the Law Associations.
It further appeared that from the Law Society perspective, LibraryCo got itself in trouble with its financial reporting to the Law Society. It seemed that the Law Society was not particularly pleased at the time with the form of the financial reporting.
At the time that those issues were coming to a head,LibraryCo had established the “Integration Task Force” to examining ways that LibraryCo and the Great Library could work more closely together. It became very clear very quickly that there were fundamental governance issues with LibraryCo.
LibraryCo – 2nd Generation
LibraryCo had a major corporate overhaul in 2007 which resulted in the Board of Directors being reduced from 15 to 8 seats, a new unanimous Shareholder’s Agreement, the “USA”, between the Toronto Lawyers Association, FOLA, and the Law Society, and an Administrative Services Agreement under which the Law Society was contracted to provide most of the administrative and technical support which LibraryCo required.
At that same time,LibraryCo and the GreatLibrary developed a new and closer working relationship. Also, commencing in 2004, the Great Library and the Toronto Lawyers Association library worked together to rationalize some of their collections and worked together towards a more coherent approach to providing library services to lawyers in the Toronto area. LibraryCo has existed basically in this form since that time.
Issues from 2013 – today
In 2013 the Law Society appointed a Legal Information and Support Services (LISS) committee, with members from the Law Society, FOLA, TLA, OBA and the Advocates Society, to review the current system to identify and provide advice on areas that need further review. A report of LISS was widely distributed in the fall of 2014 but was not acted upon by the Law Society.
In 2015 the Law Society insisted that qualitative and quantitative data on library system use and future needs was required to inform the work of the Transition Committee and to satisfy the demands of Convocation for evidence-based policy making. While FOLA initially resisted this further study as a duplication of effort and time (given the LISS report), the consultant, Phase 5, was retained and a report was provided to the LibraryCo board and Transition Committee in the fall of 2016. The work of the Transition Committee was essentially put on hold during this time.
In the fall of 2016, the Audit & Finance Committee of the Law Society rejected the initial 2017 LibraryCo draft budget and, in particular, its request for a 2% budget increase on the premise that the LibraryCo Transition Committee had not made progress towards a viable reform plan. Following appeals by the LibraryCo board, the draft budget was approved, but the Law Society warned that future budgets would not be approved unless and until a viable reform plan was developed.
The LibraryCo board decided that the full Phase 5 report would not be released publicly. The Phase 5 report largely confirmed what FOLA already knew and believed about the system:
· the system is highly valued by those who use it;
· library staff are seen as the greatest asset in the system;
· the system is under-utilized and many lawyers do not fully appreciate or understand the breadth of services already available;
· investment is needed to introduce new services and meet the demands of lawyers into the future;
· opportunities for reform and revitalization exist in the system, but the report is largely silent on important matters of governance.
A high-level review of the Phase 5 report was presented at the 2016 November Plenary and FOLA passed a unanimous motion calling for the Law Society to reinstate a separate “Library Levy” on lawyers’ annual statements.
The Transition Committee met in November and December 2016 to consider the Phase 5 report and to begin to map out a plan. The December meeting was cut short and progress inexplicably stalled. FOLA wrote to the Law Society in December 2016 to express its frustration with the delays in the Transition Committee and the Law Society responded with an invitation to the other shareholders (FOLA and TLA) to attend a meeting where they would all “lay their cards on the table”.
FOLA and the TLA met with the Law Society on January 30, 2017, where the Law Society expressed its belief that LibraryCo is an “expensive and unnecessary corporate structure”. The Law Society once again determined that LibraryCo should be dissolved and the operations moved internally to the Law Society.
Following spirited discussions, all of the shareholders agreed that:
· the support of a “centralized” system management would be beneficial to the entire operation (and was always the intent of LibraryCo), but the shareholders had different views on that model;
· if the Law Society could assure FOLA and the TLA that it is not intending to cut funding, then there is enough basis to continue discussions;
· another meeting of the shareholders should take place as soon as possible and at that meeting a formal exchange of ideas should take place.
Further discussions between the shareholders ensued and at the November 2017 Plenary, the FOLA Executive presented an update on the status of negotiations and identified the risks and “political realities” facing the negotiators. The Executive was pleased to also inform the Presidents that the Law Society had agreed that implementing the full scope of LIRN was not possible, but that certain interim reforms were needed.
As a result, a scaled down version, “LIRN 3.0”, was presented. It featured:
· reiteration that an opportunity exists to re-set and revitalize “LibraryCO”;
· explicit focus on “competence”;
· a re-set for the governance of the entity with a “skills-based nominated board” with accountability to the shareholders;
· mandate to the new Board to hire a Director/Senior Manager with a mandate to build and revitalize the system;
· reiteration that the existing association staff relationship should remain with no change to their status;
· a guarantee of funding for five years and an opportunity to make the case for growth;
· making the “Library Levy” a “Competence Levy”.
With the support of the Presidents, FOLA agreed to endorse a move forward with the next steps which is to retain a consultant to develop criteria for the skills matrix needed by the new Board of Directors and endorse the shareholders moving forward to recruit that new Board based on the criteria.
From November 2018 until January 2019, prospective board members were interviewed and selected with FOLA being part of that selection committee. That board is not yet in place as the new corporation has yet to be formed with proper constating documents. The LSO has provided new draft documents to the TLA and FOLA for their respective review. It is the understanding of FOLA that these documents are meant to preserve the rights and obligations contained in LibraryCo’s Unanimous Shareholder Agreement.
On November 14th 2019, FOLA's membership unanimously passed the Universal Shareholders Agreement (LIRN USA). It is now awaiting formal approval by the Law Society of Ontario.