March 1998

College Library
The College Library

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Helping Teachers Across Ontario

The Ontario College of Teachers is investing in the latest technology to make its library a valuable resource for the province’s teachers, easily accessible no matter where they live.

A clean slate is a rare opportunity. It’s very exciting and a little daunting." This is how Chris Ball, manager of Library and Archival Services, describes the opportunity to build the College’s new research facility from the ground up.

"You have the chance to design the physical space, select the technology and provide the services you know are possible," says Ball. "Our role is to create a central point of access to information that relates to the professional development of our members."

Library staff members Chris Ball, Lynda Nakamura and Olivia Hamilton have been building up the collection in the College’s new library.

Many teachers from the Toronto area have already visited the library, which is located next to the main reception area at the College. One of the attractions is the growing collection of more than 200 periodicals and newspapers.

But Ball and his staff are working hard to ensure that members all over the province have easy access to the College’s growing collection of the literature on teaching and learning.

"We’ve already received many very generous donations from our members, other libraries and retired teachers, so our magazine holdings are taking on a breadth you wouldn’t expect from such a young library," says library technician Olivia Hamilton, who is now a familiar voice to teachers looking for that perfect article to complete their course work.

Many teachers use the College library from a distance, via phone, mail or Internet. "The virtual library we were all talking about a few years ago is now a reality," says Ball.

Accessible from the main College web site, the library page offers an overview of services, a listing of its journals, and an outline of the CD-ROM services available through the library. The College’s education legislation quarterly updates are downloadable, along with a full listing of conferences and events.

The library staff plan to add the on-line catalogue to the web, so members will soon be able to search the catalogue over the Internet. The circulation system is already linked to the College’s membership data base.

Materials are available to members on two-week loan, renewable once, and are sent by regular mail. Some information – for example, the results of computer searches library staff do for members – can be faxed or e-mailed.

The library also preserves the College’s history. "As young as we are as an institution, there’s a surprising amount of material already," says staff member Lynda Nakamura.

Visit the library in person on the 6th floor at 121 Bloor Street East in Toronto, on the College web site at , or contact the staff by e-mail at or by phoning (416) 961-8800 or toll-free in Ontario 1-888-534-2222.