The Nelson Public Library and the Nelson and District Hospice gave updates to council at Monday night's committee of the whole.

Library and hospice get the ear of Nelson city council

A pair of local organizations gave an update at Nelson city council on Monday night.

A pair of local organizations appeared before Nelson city council Monday night to offer an update on their operations over the past year.

Nelson Public Library

Chief librarian June Stockdale and library board chair Dianne Harke said the library is taking a new approach to fundraising.

The library partnered with local businesses to create a new line of library-theme merchandise. Oso Negro roasted a special batch of “Read All Night” coffee beans, Nelson Chocofellar provided chocolate bars with book-theme names, the Kootenay Co-op donated cookbooks and several artists donated images of their work to appear on bookmarks.

The items will be on sale at the library until Christmas, and proceeds will be used to expand that library’s collections.

“The library is serving more people, since the regional districts [Areas F and H] bought into our services, and our collections are taking a beating,” Harke said. “With more people borrowing items, the normal wear and tear happens a lot faster.”

Each month an average of 11,000 people visit the library, including 2,000 who come in to use the public computers. Some 20,000 items are checked out each month and 450 e-books downloaded.

This year the library spent $12,500 upgrading its catalogue software to come in line with the rest of the province. Other major purchases include a $7,000 security gate and a self check system, which was bought used for $700 (new models go for about $15,000).

The library also expanded its hours this year and now stays open until 8 p.m. on Mondays and 6 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, adding an extra hour of service each day.

Nelson and District Hospice Society

Hospice Society board member Colleen Driscoll said her organization plans to merge with the Kalein Hospice House society in the new year.

The organization, which receives funding from Interior Health, has provided emotional support to people going through the stages of dying, death and bereavement for the past 25 years.

Driscoll hopes partnering with Kalein will allow them to receive training to eventually provide physical support as well.

In the past year, 35 Nelson Hospice members have put in 1,500 volunteer hours and have visited 196 clients. They also host workshops and offer the Tree of Remembrance at the Chahko Mika Mall.

“We’ve been busy; our services are in huge demand,” Driscoll said.

This year Kaslo separated from the Hospice Society, choosing to start a separate organization for North Kootenay Lake. The Nelson and District society still serves the East Shore and south to Slocan City.

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