Okanagan Regional Libraries consider fundraising option

Okanagan Regional Library hires consultant for a fund development study to see if revenue sources exist beyond taxation...

Local libraries could eventually get into the fundraising business.

Okanagan Regional Library board members agreed Wednesday to hire a consultant for a fund development study to see if revenue sources exist beyond taxation.

“We feel there are possibilities out there we could be missing,” said director Peter Schierbeck.

“It would be primarily used for capital – new chairs or tables or an addition to the (book) collection.”

Director Mike Macnabb, though, expressed some apprehension that the study could lead to ORL hiring someone to take on fundraising.

“We’re kind of a monopoly and we don’t see others setting up libraries next to us. Why are we doing this?” he said.

However, other board members pointed out that all that’s been approved is a feasibility study and no decision has been made about fundraising.

“We’re not seeking anyone’s funding at this time,” said director Jim Edgson.

A similar view also came from director Lisa Cameron.

“Without a feasibility study, it’s just us talking about what we think is best for the library,” she said.

Lesley Dieno, ORL executive director, believes there are some unknowns about canvassing for money.

“We want to know how much fundraising will cost to do – staff salaries, travel to communities, etc.,” she said.

But she admits there’s a reluctance among the board to keep raising taxes.

“There are a lot of things we could do if we had the money to do it.”

Langley-based Liberty Quest Enterprises has been hired for up to $20,755 to lead the study. However, completing the full process is contingent on Liberty Quest identifying realistic opportunities for fundraising.

“If they can’t find anything for us, they will walk away from the rest of the $20,000,” said director Arlene Arlow.