South Peace News
It was a “meet and greet” to meet the new council combined with a presentation on the valuable service libraries provide.
Peace Library system CEO Louisa Robison attended Northern Sunrise County council’s Jan. 11 meeting by Zoom to introduce herself and explain what council receives for its membership in the organization.
PLS was formed in 1986 and currently serves a population of 178,009. They have 37 member municipalities and one Metis Settlement serving 46 public libraries and 36 schools. Northern Sunrise County joined in 1999 and Reeve Carolyn Kolebaba is currently PLS chair.
Robison told council she likes to meet with all newly-elected councils. She explained the PLS is one of seven library systems in Alberta dedicated to enhancing public library services to all Peace County residents.
PLS helps local libraries in four key areas:
- Library collections: centralized ordering, cost savings through bulk purchases, cataloguing services, specialized collections, and more;
- Access to resources: it allows each library to borrow from all libraries across Alberta [over 30 million items], including eBooks and other eResources, including the Interlibrary loan program and delivery service;
- IT service and support: shared costs for services, automated circulation, technical training, Internet service, and more;
- Training and programs: help with library management, on-site visits and support, digital media training, program support, and more.
Kolebaba noted within PLS boundaries are 13 First Nations. She asked Robison to explain the $225,000 Indigenous grant received by PLS. Robison replied they hired two staff – a Metis and Indigenous – to work out of the High Prairie Municipal Library.
“They travel around a lot,” said Robison. “Kapawe’no, Cadotte Lake. . .”
She added another worker is in Valleyview serving the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation and another in Beaverlodge serving Horse Lake First Nation.
Kolebaba reminded council PLS also serves “an active French library in St. Isidore.”
In 2022, Northern Sunrise County will contribute $12,434 to regional library services, plus $5,638 to an ordering account for Nampa Public Library, Bibliotheque St. Isidore and Peace River Municipal Library.
Robison provided a chart of where PLS’s $2,986,818 budget will be spent in 2022. Library collections comprise 40 per cent of the budget while training/programs account for 17 per cent and IT services 13 per cent. Operations and administration account for 18 per cent and board expenses two per cent. Indigenous services and resource sharing each account for four per cent and transfer payments two per cent to complete the budget.
Robison pointed out 80 per cent of expenditures relate to direct or indirect services to libraries and residents, while 10 per cent relates to headquarters operations and board activities.