New library facility not on the horizon

Sylvan Lake Municipal Library Board met for a regular meeting on Nov. 15

File Photo

The Sylvan Lake Municipal Library will likely not be seeing a new facility for some quite sometime.

At the recent library board meeting, the board members discussed where the library sits as a priority for the Town.

“If we are looking at the Town’s 10 year plan, we would be at year X,” said Library Director Caroline Vandriel, adding a new building for the library is not currently on the horizon, based on the Town’s plans.

This was particularly upsetting, after learning the is too small for the current population according to the standards set by municipal affairs.

For a population between 10,001-20,000 people a library should be at least 9,500 sq. ft. to provide essential services to the municipality. For excellent services, Municipal Affairs recommends a library be at least 16,000 sq. ft for the current population.

The definition provided by Municipal Affairs for “essential” is a library will be able to provide basic library services.

The the current square footage of the library, 7,152 sq. ft as of the renovations in 2014, the municipal library can provide enhanced services to a population between 5,001 and 10,000.

“We are currently more than 2,000 sq. ft. under where we should be,” Vandriel said.

When asked what the Town viewed as more important Vandriel said a new field house in what will be Pogadl Park.

Potential options were mentioned during the discussion, such as housing the library in the new new field house complex.

Another option mentioned was attaching the public library to a school, if a new school is too be built.

For the while, the board has been setting aside money for when the library will get a new space. The money set aside will help with bills and utilities in a new facility, as well as immediate costs not covered by the Town.

Along with the need of a new facility, the board moved to spend up to $2,500 on new hand dryers and/or a cigarette receptacle by the end of the year, under the condition Friends of Sylvan Lake Library is unable to cover the costs.

Town staff has agreed to install the new fixtures if the Library can purchase them.

“We are very fortunate to have our relationship with the Town, to not pay rent or utilities because we are well aware we could if the Town decided,” said Vandriel.

The Library will also be looking at creating a “wish list” of items that will be linked on its website. This wish list will be full of items the library would like, but may not be able to access at the time, that could be donated by community members.

The list could be as simple as craft supplies or more of a big ticket item like a hand dryer.

The Sylvan Lake Municipal Library Board meets the second Wednesday of the month, and the meeting is open to the public. The next meeting will be held Jan. 10, 2018.

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