By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Nov 20, 2014
It’s the Squamish Public Library’s mission to connect the community to the world of learning, discovery and creativity. And the library is introducing new programs and services, despite some cuts to its budget this year.
The library’s budget was cut by $30,000 this year, about three per cent of its budget.
Because of the budget cuts, the library has been closed on Sundays from June 1 to August 31 to achieve some cost savings. It will reopen on Sunday again after the Labour Day.
“It saved us money, but the cut wasn’t arbitrary as it was based on foot traffic,” said Hilary Bloom, Squamish Public Library director.
The library has also had to reduce its Summer Reading Club staff, but a grant enabled the library to hire some students for that, Bloom said.
“Cuts happened across many departments in the district (including the library), we’ve minimized the impact to the public,” she said.
Despite some cuts, the library has introduced new programs and services. One of them is Book a Librarian, which enables locals to book time with the research librarian, Chelsea Jordan-Makely.
In 30-minute one on one sessions, Chelsea can show patrons how to use the internet, social media, eBooks, readers and find answers to other research questions.
“She can help with in-depth assistance in reference or research, or even with those who need help with their own electronic device,” Bloom said. To celebrate 100 years of Squamish, the library also organised a series of talks through the spring and summer in honour of Squamish’s milestone celebrations this year. The topics included history of trails, Royal Hudson, logging etc.
The library is now also linking with recreational services, hosting story time on ice in fall and winter at Brennan Park. The library also plans to build on its ongoing partnership with Whistler and Pemberton by introducing a new project called One Book, One Community, focussing on one book to build a sense of community.
Also in the works for the library is a new website that will make finding information easy. This year, the library also conducted an online survey asking people their views on the new additions the library should get.
Bloom said the survey results indicated people wanted access to more language resources, some of which are already available in the library.
One of them is Mango, a program that helps you learn a new language, and is available for use with just a library card.