Okanagan libraries running on tight budget, future focus on community spaces | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Clear  3.2°C

Kelowna News

Okanagan libraries running on tight budget, future focus on community spaces

Okanagan Regional Library.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

Okanagan libraries are running on a tight budget, spending as much as 30 per cent less than other B.C. libraries on major expenditures such as salaries and wages.

The current overall budget is just over $19 million per year, according to a report by library director Don Nettleton that's going to Lake Country council this week.

Ninety-one per cent of that budget comes from taxes paid by Okanagan property owners. Their share amounts to $44.76 per capita, which is below the B.C. average of $48.65. Okanagan Regional Library used to get as much as 20 per cent of its budget from provincial grants but now provincial funding accounts for just over five per cent.

Nettleton said in his report that over recent years the library board has kept annual budget changes at or below inflation rates and has focused on finding internal efficiencies to reallocate funding to new initiatives.

"In the past five years, the Library Board also implemented an internal financial redistribution to bring closer into line the library service costs in each community and the taxes received from that community," Nettleton wrote. 

"This redistribution was largely implemented using attrition and is expected to be a continuous process."

In the years ahead the library is going to focus on continuing programming expansion to all ages, increasing digital literacy training and digital collections.

They're also going to work on transitioning spaces to provide community hubs and gathering spots.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2019

  • Popular kelowna News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile