Library taxes are expected to climb, but much of the money is going to improve services.
Okanagan Regional Library’s draft 2012 budget calls for a 2.68 per cent increase or an average per capita increase to the levy of $1.14.
“Half of the budget is going to new materials and upgrades to make the system more efficient,” said director Mike Macnabb.
“It will make the system easier for users.”
Among the budgeted items is $150,000 for books.
“For several years the collection has been dropping,” said director Shawn Lee.
“To keep the collection current, we need to increase expenditures.”
Some of ORL’s 29 branches will also experience expanded space.
The remainder of the budget is directed towards labour costs.
One unknown factor is current negotiations with unionized staff.
“We’re speculating on what the increase will be and hoping for less,” said Macnabb.
ORL board members will consider the 2012 budget further at their November meeting.
The regional library board also remains focused on construction of a new branch on 30th Avenue in downtown Vernon.
“The library is on budget and on time,” said Macnabb.
The branch is scheduled to be completed by April.
The board has approved changes in ORL’s circulation policy, including pre-notification of items coming due and bringing late fees more in line with other libraries in the province.
The changes will be implemented over the next three months.