Library cuts a concern

Mike Macnabb, who sits on the Okanagan Regional Library board, is concerned about the financial allocation model analysis

At least one politician is concerned the budget axe could swing at Vernon’s library.

Mike Macnabb, who sits on the Okanagan Regional Library board, is concerned ORL’s financial allocation model analysis indicates that the Vernon branch is over-funded.

“If we cut services to a booming business, that will decrease circulation and we don’t want to go there,” said Macnabb, director for BX-Silver Star.

Macnabb says the study only looks at how much money is going into the branch and how much it costs to operate the facility, and public use is ignored.

“Vernon consistently has the highest circulation of all of the libraries, including Kelowna,” he said.

“It’s a significant centre for people to access resources.”

Macnabb fears that residents could suffer if ORL ultimately decides to bring investment in line with operational costs.

“Don’t use a blunt tool to screw around with a good thing which we have in the Vernon area,” he said.

Macnabb also isn’t convinced that ORL needs to increase financial support for branches deemed not to have sufficient resources.

“If you need to spend more money, will you get a circulation increase?” he said.

ORL staff caution that the financial allocation model analysis is based on 2011 figures and a review will be done based on the new Vernon branch.

“It’s normal that it (costs) would have changed because there are two floors and it’s a bigger building,” said Stephanie Hall, executive director.

“No decision has been made and what ever happens, it will be a collaborative process.”

Hall says there will be discussions with ORL staff and the community on services and spending levels.

“We want to listen to new ideas. We don’t have a preconceived idea that it has to be this way.”

More details may be known in February.