Morinville Library Board offers clarifications and concerns

Amy Guenette, Acting Chair Morinville Library Board, speaks to Council at their Mar. 15 Committee of the Whole meeting.

by Lucie Roy

Amy Guenette, Acting Chair of the Morinville Public Library Board, made a brief presentation to Town Council at their Mar. 15 Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting, providing clarifications on concerns the Board has heard from Council, and expressing some of the Board’s concerns to Council.

Topics for discussion included the letters of support from library patrons, the impact of being closed on Mondays, Library Board attendance at Council meetings, the amount received from the budget, and a desire to be included in the future rec facility.

Guenette said the purpose of the letter of support was so patrons would be able to voice their opinion at the library’s necessary decision to close on Mondays due to not receiving all of the funding they requested of the Town. The intent of the letter was to showcase just how valuable the citizens of Morinville and Sturgeon County feel the library is to their community.

Councillor Nicole Boutestein said the decision to close Mondays was the library’s.

“I want to reaffirm the fact that being closed on Mondays is not Council’s decision,” she said. “I think that is always very important to remember. We allocate funding; how you guys spend that money is up to you. We did not cut the hours on Monday. The library chose to do that, so if you go back and reinstate Monday and cut back two hours every other day that is your choice as well. It is so important to know we didn’t tell you to close on Mondays. It was the library decision to implement that.”

When Guenette asked if the Council would advocate on behalf of the library to Sturgeon County in a formal capacity, Councillor Gord Putnam mentioned that the Intermunicipal Advisory Committee set up between the Town and the County was the appropriate venue for discussion.

In response to the library’s request for consideration to be included in the rec centre plans, Mayor Lisa Holmes said it was a conversation that Council needs to have, but reminded Guenette of space already provided.

“We provide a really great space downstairs and it is a tight budget situation,” she said. “I am not sure that it is going to be an option to discuss the rec facility.”

Councillor Stephen Dafoe praised the staff and Board for the library’s fundraising efforts this year and questioned why the Library was being asked to pay for the rental when it was a fundraiser. Potential Town sponsorship of the event may come up at the Mar. 22 regular Council meeting.

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