CUPE Local 503 members have played a vital role in transforming the Ottawa Public Library into the major informational, educational and cultural resource that it has become over the years in the National Capital region.

Collective Agreement

Ottawa Public Library – January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2019

Click here to find the Memorandum of Agreements 2016-2019


French version coming soon.

The Ottawa Public Library opened its doors on April 30, 1906, on the site of the current main branch. Today it is the largest bilingual public library in Canada.

Ottawa was one of the first communities in Ontario to offer free public library services to all.

Today there are thirty-three library branches across the city, plus two bookmobiles and a large outreach service. Many special needs services are offered, including large-print books, books in Braille, talking books, downloadable audiobooks and e-books, and computers with text magnifiers, text readers and speech recognition software.

Today the Ottawa Public Library has over 600 employees. Since December 15, 1993, when members of the former Ottawa Public Library Employees’ Association approved a merger, they have been represented by CUPE Local 503, the Ottawa-Carleton Public Employees’ Union. The first CUPE contract was signed on January 15, 1996 (retroactive to November 9, 1995).

Library employees handle more than 4.3 million personal visits, and 5.1 million electronic visits annually. In addition, library staff answer approximately 0.6 million inquiries per year. There are 2.3 million items in the OPL collection, with 10.1 million items being borrowed annually.

One of the major strengths of the Ottawa Public Library is the Ottawa Room, which includes an extensive collection of local history materials and a comprehensive collection of municipal and regional documents. The library is a pioneer in automation and was a major partner in establishing National Capital Freenet.

The Library is governed by the Ottawa Public Library Board which consists of fourteen trustees. Six Councilors and eight members of the public are appointed by City Council after each municipal election to serve a four year term.

We’re working, together, for a better Ottawa.