Contributions for services provided by the City of Nelson for residents outside of the city’s boundaries was a topic of conversation at last week’s committee of the whole budget talks.
“City residents are still paying three or four times what they do in the regional district,” said city manager Kevin Cormack during a presentation of the library budget.
Chief financial officer Colin McClure made the presentation on behalf of the Nelson Public Library.
A challenge facing the library is the aging equipment that needs to be updated.
McClure said there may be an opportunity for the library to receive some help from the city by contributing to a reserve fund which would allow them to rent newer computers from the city.
The coming year may see few challenges for the library budget, but McClure said that in 2013 there may be a requirement for some “green” especially with the collective agreement with staff coming to an end that year.
“They may want to approach the regional district,” said Dooley. “They have substantial funds in discretionary.”
Though staffing has increased at the library they still operate with 17 per cent less than the provincial average.
“This may be good for the budget but dangerous for burn out,” said McClure.
In 2011, thanks to a recent referendum, the library saw an increase in visits by 13 per cent.
City councillor Donna Macdonald said that half of the library’s collection is circulated each month, which is a lot of wear and tear.
Macdonald has also asked to be part of the provincial library trustees board.
Municipal libraries have recently been transferred to the portfolio of the Ministry of Education and Macdonald is concerned that this may lead to some downloading by the government.
“The government may say ‘Let’s not do school libraries anymore, let’s do public libraries instead.’ This is something we want to keep a close eye on,” she said.