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ORL considers service reductions in Vernon

Service levels may ultimately be adjusted at the Vernon library to reflect funding.

According to Okanagan Regional Library, the branch is receiving more resources than are actually being paid for by residents of Vernon, Coldstream and the two electoral areas. The projected variance for 2014 is $350,000.

Stephanie Hall, executive director, says a reduction in expenditures will be needed to align with financial input as ORL strives for equity between branches.

“Vernon is a tough one because the branch is so well used. We will look and see what we can do,” said Hall, who would not speculate on potential reductions.

“We are not looking at layoffs. We are looking at other measures such as (staff) attrition.”

However, before any decisions are made, Hall says ORL will work with staff and the community on balancing services with costs.

“I want them to help me improve the process.”

Another challenge for ORL is that provincial grants for library services have remained flat in recent years.

“Provincial funding is what helps us get equity across the province,” said Hall.

In 2013, 579,114 physical items were circulated at the Vernon branch, a one per cent increase over the previous year.

“It’s the No. 1 most popular branch in the Okanagan,” said Hall.

About 19,755 people attended various programs, which was a 60 per cent increase, with 16,578 of them being children.

And the branch has remained popular despite a  broken pipe that caused significant flooding damage on the main floor Feb. 10.

“Not much service has been left off the table,” said Hall, adding that activities are being accommodated on the second floor.

Stutter’s Restoration is commencing with restoration work and it’s expected to take six to eight weeks.

“Visitors to the library may notice some noise and odours during the restoration period,” said Michelle Rule, ORL communications manager.

“Staff will use an odour meter and noise meter to try to give some indication of what visitors might expect each day.”

 

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