Morinville Community Library lowers card fees for County residents

The Morinville Community Library is experiencing high levels of traffic since reopening at the beginning of the month. – Morinville News Staff Photo


Morinville – Sturgeon County residents will now pay the same rate as Morinville residents for their library cards after the library’s board voted in favour of user fee parity. The change in County rates took effect Sept. 17 and Sturgeon County residents will now pay $10 for an adult, $6 for children and seniors, and $20 for a family. Membership fees are good for one year from date of activation.

Morinville Community Library Manager Isabelle Cramp is encouraging any County resident who has not yet renewed their library card or who would like to get a Morinville card to come in and take advantage of the new matched rate.

“We are going into a new era for this library and we need to recognize the fact that our patrons must have the same access to the library at the same cost,” Cramp said, adding the library board made the decision to match the rates to allow that to happen. “We want to be on par with the other organizations in town that provide recreational entertainment for the community and for Sturgeon County. The rates are the same everywhere – so ours should be the same as well.”

New rates coming

With a new, larger facility and a soon-to-be-expanded offering of programs at the library, there is a need for additional funding to provide the high level of service.

Cramp said library card rates will be increasing in 20013, the first increase to user rates in about five years.
“The library’s rates have been the same for quite a few years now,” she said. “We feel with the new space we have; with the new programing we are going into; with everything we’ve done to make this space so much more, we need now to also take a look at our rates and slightly increase them to reflect that we are now offering them more.”

Part of the increase in services could be the addition of more staff at the library. Cramp said current traffic flow through the facility is presenting the library with the probability of hiring another staff member in 2013. “Since we’ve reopened the library fully, we’ve been extra busy,” she said. “There’s every indication that we will keep on being busy. In 2013 this will most probably result in a staffing increase for the library to keep up with customer service and still be actively responsive to customer service, and also to make sure all the work we do in the background is done on a timely basis.”

Opportunity for all patrons to save

Although Cramp said card fees will increase a small amount in 2013, all patrons have an opportunity to avoid those increases for a couple more years. “Anyone can sign up for a library card for three years,” she said. “Anyone who wants to do their library card for three years can do that and it will lock them in for three years.”

For more information on services and fees, contact the Morinville Public Library at 780-939-3292.

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  1. Have I missed that the funding formula has changed?

    Does Sturgeon NOW pay their share based on % of resident usage?

    If that is the case, please read no further.

    How can you make the rates the same when the amount Sturgeon pays for it’s residents does not match the level of usage? (about 30%)

    Is the principal of user pay their full share only valid in Morinville?

    How can the library board substantiate Morinville paying a higher per capita rate than that of our neighbors? Why should Morinville residents be SUBSIDIZING the county residents?

    I sure hope Morinville town council will have some tough questions for the library when they next come cap in hand for MORE money.

  2. I’m not sure how Morinville residents are subsidizing the county residents on this, Joe knows much more about the funding side of things with his council experience. Having said that though, I totally disagree with charging non-residents a different fee than locals for any venue/activity/service. It discourages use by outside sources which leads to less money for said venue/activity/service.

    • Gentleman, I am going to switch hats here and speak to this as Board Chair and not editor of this publication to clear up any misunderstanding. The library currently has approximately 700 Sturgeon County residents as patrons. A $5 differential cut is a loss of revenue of $3,500. This will be in part compensated by the County with $3,000 in additional funding offered to those libraries that offer parity in user fees.

      As it has been for several years, many patrons would take out a card in another Sturgeon County Library because the rates were in parity with those municipalities. Those books could be ordered online with a Bon Accord or Gibbons card and requested to be picked up in Morinville because the patron worked here or had easier access here. As such, the library received none of the card fees but incurred most of the costs of processing the Inter-library loan our great library system’s libraries have at their disposal. That does work all ways as books can be picked upat the library convenient to the patron.

      This parity in card pricing no longer punishes our Cardiff and other County neighbours for what needs to be (and is) a discussion at a broader level about joint use funding.

      It allows your library to match prices for County residents, immediately recoup most of the loss in additional funding already offered by Sturgeon County, and affords us a better chance to increase the number of County patrons holding a card in our Morinville library.

      Sometimes a little less can mean a lot more and that was the thought process the board went with when making the decision to offer parity pricing after many years. It was not a decision made without considerable discussion.

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