Library cuts back services

Most North Okanagan library branches are preparing for service cuts

Most North Okanagan library branches are preparing for service cuts.

Okanagan Regional Library has initiated a process to link services received to the amount of taxes a community pays, and as a result, expenditures will be trimmed at the Vernon, Lumby, Falkland and Cherryville branches.

“There will be some reduction in service,” said Michele Rule, ORL communications manager, adding that the scope of the cuts will be known in about a month.

“The board has said it will make any changes over a couple of years because it wants to lessen the impact on staff. We hope to do everything through attrition.”

In Enderby, there has already been a decision to reduce student page time by two hours.

“They were getting more services than they were paying for,” said Rule of Enderby.

“The impact on branch services will be that staff are busier but it will not result in a loss of open hours.”

The status quo will continue at the Armstrong and Oyama branches.

“This means that for these branches, no changes to staff levels or hours are required at this time nor are there any expected additions to service,” said Rule.

Improved service levels will be initiated at the Lake Country (Winfield) branch.

“That will be up to the community,” said Rule when asked what upgrades could occur in Winfield.

“We will consult with the community on what may be of interest.”

Whether services are being reduced or being enhanced, Rule insists ORL administration is working with the unions representing employees.

“We haven’t finished staffing level changes for those branches yet,” she said of Vernon, Lumby, Falkland and Cherryville.

“There will be some changes but we don’t know what they are.”