The Vermilion Public Library (VPL) held their annual general meeting on October 28, electing new executive board members.
A motion was carried to install the new officers including Justin Thompson as chair, Richard Yaceyko as vice chair, and Anna Giesbrecht as treasurer.
Past trustees, Leanne Martin and Yuliya’s Lundback’s terms expired, so the library is actively seeking new board members.
Past chair, Richard Yaceyko, welcomed everyone and gave a summary of committee accomplishments throughout the year.
“The library has had to adjust some of the things we undertook this year. I would like to thank Stewart and the staff for changing gears and serving the public as best they could,” said Yaceyko.
“Upon reopening with COVID restrictions, because of the way we were working there were some reductions in staff, and we developed a draft budget that showed no increase for operating costs. As for the committee recommendations, we are wanting to make an expansion so the entry is more accessible for scooters because it currently has an outward opening door.”
Giesbrecht said in 2019, it cost $417,443 to run the library, with the largest portion (over $200,000) going to staffing costs, as well as approximately $18,000 spent on books, e-books, etc.
Library manager, Stewart Pauls, said that even though the number of patrons went down during COVID-19 and there were some extra costs associated with the pandemic, there was no concern about going over budget because of their staff cuts.
The Town of Vermilion gets funding for the Library through grants, including ones from the province and the County of Vermilion River’s Municipal Sustainability Initiative.
The VPL’s plan of service is coming to and close and they are in the process of developing a new one to extend for the next five years. Thompson said the framework will stem from already completed community engagement, ongoing selection of priorities, and sitting down to create some smart goals that follow the format recommended by the province.
“How libraries operate in 2020 are light and day different than they were five years ago,” said Thompson.
“Many people don’t know you can pick up a Play Station game at the library. The average library patron borrows over $1,400 worth of materials every year for the cost of a $15 borrowing card.”
Pauls said, “Some of the larger libraries going after creativity goals have maker spaces available with 3D printers and are able to offer sewing classes, so it will be interesting to see what we end up with after the new responses are determined.”