by Tristan Turner
Morinville Community Library Manager Isabelle Cramp presented to Council on the library’s activities from January to May 2014. Cramp was excited about growth in library attendance in both regular usage and library-hosted events such as the overbooked Lego Club. Some statistics Cramp shared included:
By the end of May the library has been open (from January) 146 days out of 151 days after expanding their hours to include expanded weekend service following increased demand in survey responses.
There are 3,555 cardholders at the library, over a third of the community’s total population.
On average, the library sees 82 visitors per day.
So far in 2014 the library has circulated over 36,000 items, 6,000 units more than their total collection of 30,000 items.
The library has deemed expanded service hours on Saturday and opening to the public on Sunday to have been a success, and the board has decided to continue with the expanded service.
So far the library has had 11 schools or daycares attend with 808 participants.
The library offers services to provide items to those with disabilities, engaging in 39 instances of outreach delivering 243 items.
The library hosted 24 meetings with 278 participants in total.
The popular Lego Club will be expanded to two sessions per month starting in September due to significant interest.
Cramp added after presenting statistics to Council that the library board has printed new brochures so they can begin more actively pursuing donations from businesses and individuals, and that the library intends to raise over $12,000 from donations in 2014. Cramp added that citizens interested in donating to the library can do so at the front desk, and that all donations over $20 will receive a tax receipt covering more than the majority of the donated amount. Cramp also thanked Councillor Stephen Dafoe during her presentation for personally donating $10,000 to the library earlier in the year.
Near the end of her presentation, Cramp expressed her disappointment at the removal of the provincial STEP (Summer Temporary Employment Program) employment program that previously provided significant provincial sponsorship of young employees during summer months. “With the STEP program coming to an end it’s been a challenge finding funding to replace that program,” said Cramp, going on to say that she has also been unsuccessful in securing replacement funding from the federal Canada Works program because the Constituency of Westlock-St Paul has not received adequate support through the program, according to Cramp. Councilor Boutestein requested that administration investigate the issue with the Canada Works program and report back after Cramp requested that council take action to advocate for increased support in the riding.
Cramp also shared information regarding a new upcoming library program known as the Me Card that will allow cardholders at the Morinville Library to access other library collections across the province at no additional cost.