The roots of Ontarioâ€™s Legislative Library go back to 1792 - 75 years before Canadian Confederation - to the libraries that served the province of Upper Canada and the United Province of Canada. The first librarian, Robert Baldwin Sullivan, was appointed in 1827. By the early 1900s the Library housed one of the most important reference collections in Canada. The Library was forced to rebuild this collection after a fire in 1909 that destroyed the west wing and Library of the parliament buildings. The Library moved to its current location in 1912.
Beginning in the 1970s, when the Library was reorganized and expanded to proactively meet the specific information needs of Members and the Office of the Assembly, the Libraryâ€™s professionally trained and expert staff has introduced innovative research and reference services and created customized information products that support the changing role of Members working within an electronic age. These include the introduction of a research service to provide analysis of issues and support to Members and legislative committees, an online catalogue, access to a large variety of databases, a content-rich website, a unique and extensive digital repository of government documents, the digitization of historical legislative documents and comprehensive print and electronic news services.
The Legislative Library plays an active role in the parliamentary library community in Canada and in the Ontario Government library community and is participating in a province-wide consortium of libraries to provide secure access to digital documents.
While the Libraryâ€™s program mix, service design and technology have changed dramatically over the past two centuries, the goal of providing authoritative, timely and non-partisan answers and research to meet Members' information needs remains its driving force.