Okanagan Regional Library has hammered out a new budget, and the public should benefit.
On Wednesday, directors approved a 2012 financial plan worth $16 million, a 2.68 per cent increase over 2011.
“Half of it will go back to the public,” said director Mike Macnabb of $150,000 going to books and funds being directed towards items like computers.
In addition to the new Vernon branch under construction, the board approved an expansion of the Westbank branch.
Also, the downtown Kelowna branch will be re-carpeted in 2012 as part of a multi-phase upgrade to the 16-year-old facility.
Directors also approved a manager to oversee online services and the creation of a mobile-friendly online catalogue.
The remainder of the budget is directed towards labour costs.
Macnabb believes the increased spending fits in with the cost of living.
“We arm-wrestled at considerable length to keep it at that,” he said of the 2.68 per cent hike.
“We even looked at reducing it a bit but we have reduced it to the bone. We are recognizing we’re in touch economic times.”