The library asks Perth South for funds

By Stephanie Egelton

At the beginning of Perth South’s Council meeting on January 24, Shannan Sword, CEO of the St. Marys Library made a presentation on behalf of the St. Marys and Stratford libraries. Perth South ratepayers have borrowing agreements with both the St. Marys and Stratford libraries, which Sword states “is an optimal service plan for Perth South residents.”

Shannan began to explain to council what the St. Marys Library has to offer residents in Perth South. Residents who live in Perth’s rural areas are a higher user of e-books and databases, hence the large availability of said databases within the library system.

Shannan gave council updates on users within the municipality. “16 000 items were borrowed by Perth South, there were over 100 visits at the local school, and there are 681 active card holders in the municipality over 2 years.”

The St. Marys Library is asking Perth South council to provide a 2% increase (a difference of $1,194) to the levy for service, and Stratford Library is asking for a 3% increase (a difference of $1,066). In total, Perth South is being asked to pay $90,212 for library services.

Councillor Sam Corriveau and Deputy Mayor Jim Aitcheson thanked Shannan for her presentation and what the library provides for the community. However, Aitcheson had additional questions.

“18% of the residents here use the library?,” asked Aitcheson. Shannan explained that some families only have 1 library card, and some have not come into the library to activate their card.

“I’m just wondering, and looking to see the trends,” replied Aitcheson. Shannan explained that we can track resident use through databases or borrowing, however the Privacy Act does not allow disclosure of borrowing information to the public as it is personal information.

Councillor Melinda Zurbirgg asked if a sign up sheet could be in the library for Perth South residents to sign in order to get numbers. Shannan explained that it would have to be strictly voluntary, due to the Privacy Act.

Mayor Wilhelm thanked Shannan Sword for coming to council, and this budget increase would be considered.

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