Library system requests two per cent increase

By Kirk Winter

Kawartha Lakes Public Library

The Kawartha Lakes Library Board has asked council for a 2 per cent increase over 2021. That amount translates into $131,000.

Library Director and CEO Jamie Anderson presented to council a state of the system report detailing a service that is now fully open to the public.

“We have 14 branches across the city open 330 hours a week,” Anderson said. “When taken together, our branches are open 17,000 hours a year. We have nine full-time staff and 30 part-time staff for the equivalent of 26 full-time staff.”

Anderson said 2022 could be a very busy year for the library board with the Lindsay branch to receive new, more space-efficient shelving, the renovations at the Bobcaygeon branch to continue and the Fenelon Falls expansion plans to move forward.

“We are facing budgetary pressure with increased costs in salaries, cost of books increasing because of inflation and supply chain issues and an increase in cost of the two library sites we lease in Dunsford and Omemee,” Anderson said.

The library board has already dipped into their reserves by $99,000 to keep their 2022 request at what they view to be a reasonable number.

Councillor Doug Elmslie wanted to know why the library is still reporting collecting library fines when he thought that practice had been done away with.

“Fines still exist for books on inter-library loan,” Anderson said. “That line also covers lost and damaged books.”

Elmslie also wanted to know what the library reserve is currently sitting at.

City treasurer Carolyn Daynes, who also acts as the library treasurer, told Elmslie the library reserve sits at about $750,000 and that for the last two years the library board has used reserve money to assist with system operating expenses.

Council has been hearing presentations from various community groups and will decide on funding requests during the 2022 final budget.

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