By Cole Parkinson
With summer coming to a close, Vauxhall town council was looking for a quick update on the Vauxhall Public Library.
During council’s regular council meeting on September 4, a delegation from the Vauxhall Library Board gave council a rundown on what the library was providing to the community.
“What we wanted to do is, it’s always nice for us to be in the loop. I find, for myself personally, I was very involved with the libraries where I have lived. As my kids have gotten older there has been that pull away, so with that distance I find I don’t know what’s going on,” explained Mayor Margaret Plumtree.
One of the bigger programs that went throughout the summer was the Summer Reading Program which had around 20 to 40 kids aged five to 13 years old attend.
It ran from July until mid-August every Tuesday and the program’s goal was to encourage kids to read and earn prizes. The library board has also been considering memberships and if there should be monetary value for them.
“We have been discussing if we even should have a membership fee. There are different opinions about if it’s $1 or $2, that only means you have to put that money down and put some meaning behind applying for membership. Who would apply for membership if you aren’t going to use it? That is something the board has to discuss at the next meetings,” said Joerg Klempnauer, Vauxhall Public Library board member.
The library had 520 active cardholders and 21,448 physical and digital items were checked out in 2017. Klempnauer pointed to the library’s free Wi-Fi internet and access to computers as major draws from the community. In the library’s annual report for 2017, it states the library Wi-Fi was accessed over 16,000 times during the year.
The computers, on the other hand, saw 5,700 individual uses throughout the course of the year.
“A very important part is the free access to computers and the internet, that is for many people a very important part. We have four computer workstations and two tablets, DVD’s, books, audiobooks and so on,” added Klempnauer.
The report also says the library saw 20,000 in-person visits in 2017, 7,000 visits to their website at http://www.vauxhalllibrary.ca and 200 followers on their Facebook page. The library also offers resume writing, typing and general computer/handheld device help to the community.
“In my opinion, that is a very valid and something the library management has to do,” stated Klempnauer.
Fall and winter programming has also started to be discussed at the library.
Starting soon, the Mommy and Me program will begin for one day a week during the fall and with school back in session, the Lego Program will be offered throughout the school year for one day a week.
Conversation shifted to the role Chinook Arch Regional Library System plays at the Vauxhall Public Library.
Council realizes the importance of Chinook Arch when it comes to their public library as they saw heavy use of the loan and borrow system in 2017.
In 2017, Vauxhall Library patrons checked out 5,000 items from Chinook Arch while the library itself loaned 4,000 items to other Chinook libraries.
Council also discussed the Chinook Arch Plan of Service for 2019-2022 which was approved by the Chinook Arch board and was brought to town council for approval.
In the plan, the Municipal Levy for the four years is set at $8.01 (2.04 per cent increase) for 2019, $8.17 (2 per cent) for 2020, $8.29 (1.47 per cent) for 2021, $8.41 (1.45 per cent) for 2022. Library board levy for 2019 is $3.57, 2020 is $3.57, 2021 is $3.57 and 2022 is $3.57. Total member levy 2019 is $11.58 (1.4 per cent), 2020 is $11.74 (1.38 per cent) 2021 is $11.86 (1.02 per cent) 2022 is $11.98 (1.01 per cent).
“Without Chinook Arch behind it (Vauxhall Public Library), it really doesn’t have a whole lot to offer. This enhances the services our library can provide,” said Deputy Mayor Richard Phillips on whether or not council should approve the levy schedule.
Other councillors agreed that the support Chinook Arch gives is well worth the slightly higher costs.
“I don’t think it would be affordable to operate our library without support from Chinook,” said Coun. Kim Cawley, who also serves on the Chinook Arch board.
A motion was made to approve the levy schedule and was approved unanimously by council.