By MorinvilleNews.com Staff
Sturgeon County – County Council unanimously approved $144,695 in library grant funding for the County’s five libraries Tuesday morning. The approval allocates $22,671 to Bon Accord, $27,984 to Edmonton Garrison, $24,836 to Gibbons, $46,294 to Morinville and $22,910 to Redwater for the 2012 year.
Councillors also voted unanimously to an additional $12,000 in funding subject to the libraries charging County residents the same library fees as local residents. That funding, which must be accessed by Apr. 30, 2012, consists of $3,000 each in available funds for Morinville and Edmonton Garrison and $2,000 for each of the other three libraries.
Sturgeon County Manager of Community Services Terry Cashin said there had been a decrease of 730 patrons at County libraries in 2011 over 2010, largely in part due to the Morinville Public Library’s relocation to the Parish Hall and a purging of the Northern Lights Library System (the regional library organization the County’s five libraries belong to) of dormant memberships, something that happens once every two to three years. Cashin attributed the Morinville move to a decrease of 365 members. Additionally, Edmonton Garrison’s library saw a decrease of 240 members after the library went to a family membership from merely individual memberships.
Sturgeon County funds municipal libraries with a formula that combines a base grant with additional monies based on total number of users, figures provided to the County by the Northern Lights Library System. The Morinville Public Library has 49.1 per cent of County library patrons, which accounts for the difference in funding between that library and others.
The $156,695 in direct funding includes monies used by the Northern Lights Library System for book allotment. Sturgeon County also pays Northern Lights additional library funding on a per capita basis.
Morinville Public Library Manager Isabelle Cramp made a presentation on behalf of the five libraries later in the Dec. 13 council meeting; outlining what the libraries offer and what initiatives the five libraries are working on collectively.