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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Kawartha Lakes Libraries Endangered!

Kawartha Lakes Libraries Disappearing?

Kawartha Lakes Mums recently received a notification that Kawartha Lakes residents are rallying to ensure Kawartha Lakes libraries will not be closed in the upcoming cuts to services.
Image for Save Kawartha Lakes Public Libraries stacks of books

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Kawartha Lakes has been blessed with libraries not only in Lindsay, but also in the outlying communities that existed pre-amalgamation. Services to the libraries in smaller communities in City of Kawartha Lakes have been steadily on the decline since amalgamation.

How are reductions im services calculated?

Kawartha Lakes Library Services Calculations Off Kilter?

Reading the Kawartha Lakes Core Services Calculations documents, it appears that staffing calculations for Service Centers are based on Calls AND  walkins; whereas Public Library considerations are based on the number of books borrowed by patrons during operating hours.
Not only is the City of Kawartha Lakes comparing apples and oranges, the library funding formula my be inequitable.
Before the City starts chopping libraries and arenas, perhaps a closer examination needs to be made of the actual in person enquiries at Service Centers as well as the hours Service Centers are open.
 I believe the reduction in usage is partially due to the current library funding formula which may not equitable because it does not seem to take into consideration several factors:

  1. Whether the library is open during accessible hours.
  2. The accessibility of the location.
  3. The percentage of residents who use the library.
  4. The variety and number of services and programs provided.
In many cases, comparing the use of rural libraries is like comparing apples and oranges.

This results in a downward spiral.
As services are reduced, the number of people using the libraries becomes less.
Which libraries are on the chopping block?

Kawartha Lakes Libraries Closing?

The Core Services Review for the Kawartha Lakes Public Libraries shows that the library board has put forward suggestions for several libraries.
Did you know that some longstanding libraries have already been closed?
Yes, the Kawartha Lakes Public Library branches of : Cambray and Burnt River were closed this past spring.
Branches slated for this next round of closures include:
  • Dunsford
  • Carden or Dalton -September 2016
The Bobcaygeon branch expansion has been put temporarily on hold.
On the other hand,at least one suggestion is for a long overdue increase of library space.
Which library?
One glance inside the Omemee branch of the Kawartha Lakes Public Library will tell you this indeed is loonnnnggg overdue. Post amalgamation, not only were the hours of the Omemee library reduced, but also the space.
In Omemee, the large space where the Service Centre is located was once the former library and the library is squeezed into what once was the public women's washroom.
Have you tried to squeeze into what is labeled the Children's Section or maneuver a walker or wheelchair between the rows of books?
What stands to be lost in Omemee are the arena and the use of the Coronation Hall as a rental site for meetings if the library is expanded into that space. However, that is a different story.

Why are rural libraries important?
For children and seniors living in smaller communities in City of Kawartha Lakes having a local library is extremely important as there is no public transit available to the main library branch in Lindsay. Are you interested in helping save the City of Kawartha Lakes libraries? Then you may be interested in the new Facebook page and group that have been created for this cause. See the links in related links below. Related Links
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