Community provides input for Sylvan Lake Municipal Library’s plan of service

The plan of service is a required document of all libraries in the province

The Sylvan Lake Municipal Library is working on updating its Plan of Services, and is using the community’s input to do so.

Wednesday evening around 23 members of the community came to the library to participate in a discussion about the gaps residents feels can be filled.

A number of topics were discussed, including the perceived lack of programming for certain ages groups.

Andrea Newland, director of the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library, said it came as a surprise to hear age-specific programming was missing at the library.

“We have those programs, and more… It just shows that advocacy needs to be one our goals moving forward, so people will know what is at the library,” Newland said.

She says the Plan of Services will probably remain mostly the same in the new rendition of the document.

But the input from the community is an important part of developing the document which helps the library to remain relevant in its community.

“We have to have a plan of services, it is a requirement. We’ve asked for the community’s input because we don’t want to create it in a vacuum,” she said.

The library’s current plan of services will expire at the end of the year, and it expires every five years.

The Library Board will begin to work on the new document in the coming months using the information gathered by the community’s input.

“We didn’t want to create [the document] at the last minute and just slap something together that doesn’t really represent the community,” Newland said.

In the meantime, new things are happening around the sylvan Lake Municipal Library.

Recently, a part-time programmer was hired to help fill the weekend programs void.

“I heard at the meeting that people are going into Red Deer on the weekend because there isn’t programming here. That is going to change next month,” said Newland.

Newland is also planning to expand the library’s Little Free Pantry through collaboration and partnerships with local businesses.

The Little Free Pantry currently only offer non-perishable items, but Newland hopes with new partnerships, and the purchase of a fridge/freezer thanks to the money donated by 100 Women Who Care, some perishable items will also be available.

“The Little Free Pantry is really well utilized in our community and we are looking at ways of expanding it,” she said.

The staff at the library and the Library Board are grateful to the community who have given their feedback as to what can be done better at the library.

Newland says the number of those who came to the meeting Wednesday night helped to give a larger view of the community and how the library fits in it.

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