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Ontario school library funding comes through

Ontario’s elementary school libraries “ and the retailers and wholesalers that supply them with books “ can breathe a sigh of relief: a much needed influx of funding, promised by Premier Dalton McGuinty during the 2007 election campaign, has finally come through.

The initial influx of $15-million (part of a promised $80-million) has already been divvied up among individual school boards, with each elementary school in the province set to receive a base sum of $1,500, plus additional monies calculated based on school size. The libraries can use that money to buy books from a list of 73 qualified vendors, who applied to the program last fall.

The list of vendors was first due to appear as early as last October, and the delay prompted concerns that the funds would not be forthcoming.

However, agreements with qualified retailers and wholesalers began to go out last week, and the ministry expects to have deals in place by the end of February, at which point the school libraries can begin placing orders. (For now, the vendor list has yet to be made public.) Those agreements will be valid for two years, a ministry spokesperson told Quillblog, with the ministry having the option to extend the agreement by two more years after that.

Watch Q&Q Omni for more coverage.