Photo by Shelley Miller-Cameron

Council Turning The Page On Local North Perth Libraries

The library landscape is changing in North Perth.

Council last night voted on a number of items concerning all 3 branches, including a design concept for the Monkton branch. Councillor Paul Horn, who sits on the Library Board, says the recommendation was made a few years ago.

“That was based on a recommendation that the board made way back in 2011. The very initial recommendation to cement library service into that community, I believe it’s coming in somewhere in the $80-$90,000 range, somewhere in there.”

That cost will be included in the 2018 budget process for the municipality. Council also approved a motion to investigate immediate needs at the Atwood branch, including potentially moving services to the Elma Memorial Community Centre. Councillor Horn says that investigation isn’t driven by the Library Board.

“We only deal with the library from the library board perspective. The request for the full campus exploratory initiative (at Elma Memorial CC) is more a council direction more than the library board. We simply deal with the library.”

Horn says the board is leaving it up to council to decide if that investigation is worthwhile. Finally, Council voted to not approve an investigation into the costs of relocating the Listowel branch of North Perth Public Library to the new Steve Kerr Memorial Complex. Council did approve an evaluation of costs to bring the branch up to AODA compliance. Library CEO Rebecca Dechert Sage says a 2 million dollar estimate was given for a full scale renovation, but that’s not necessarily on the table.

“The purpose of asking for a renovation was to allow us to use every available square inch of space in that library, and so that was what the initial design was. It came back from the architects, and included AODA requirements, and harvesting some additional space.”

Dechert Sage says that council clearly has no intention of moving to the new arena, so the costs of just an AODA compliance or possible renovation in the Listowel branch will be focused on instead. All Ontario libraries must meet AODA requirements by 2025.