By Cal Braid
Westwind Weekly News
At an Oct. 4 meeting, Raymond council reviewed a proposed levy schedule from the Chinook Arch Regional Library System. The Raymond Public Library has been a part of the Chinook Arch System since its inception in 1992, and Chinook Arch asked that council approve a proposed four-year levy schedule and direct the Town’s administration to update the 2023-2026 operating budget accordingly.
In their 2021 annual report, the library showed expanding service trends, which included the following:
The library was open for 1,609 hours.
594 people had a library card.
13,920 patrons walked through the doors in 2021, in addition to 19,971 website visits.
The library added 929 items to their collection bringing their total to 20,203.
There were 10,369 downloads of e-content.
The library lent 6,364 items to other libraries and borrowed 13,560 items upon patron request.
Six staff and two volunteers delivered the library services.
Total checkouts were 46,270.
Raymond CAO Kurtis Pratt said, “Chinook Arch wants to emphasize that in 2019 they reduced their fees by 5 per cent and the cumulative effect of these fees over the next four years are still less than that 5 per cent amount, demonstrating the conscientious effort they put into using the funds appropriately. There is a tremendous value in being a part of Chinook Arch and I believe the library would attest to that. So, they’re looking for a motion from council, if you’re willing, to approve their proposed fee schedule.”
Coun. Kindt said, “I will make that motion to approve that. I think that out library is used a lot. I think that since we’ve hooked up with Chinook Arch it’s been more used, there’s been more things readily available, and it’s a small price to pay for what we get.”
The funding is based per capita and in 2022, the Town’s requisition was $30,683.04.
“It worked out to about two bucks a book that we’ve loaned, which is pretty cheap,” said Coun. Evans, “and that doesn’t include the 10,000 e-books.”
“There’s lots more than books (too),” Mayor Depew added.
Commenting individually, head librarian Faye Geddes said, “One of the main benefits we receive from being a part of Chinook Arch is that our community members are not just limited to the items that we have in our collection. They can bring in items from any of the Chinook Arch libraries.”
“We appreciate the service that Chinook Arch gives by buying and cataloging our books,” she said. “This aspect of library service traditionally took hundreds of hours and each library in southern Alberta had to replicate it. Now Chinook Arch catalogs all the books and saves us so much time. The staff at Chinook Arch is also an invaluable resource for our library. They provide advice in virtually any aspect of running a library. They help us with everything from collection development to programming ideas and resources.”
The four-year budget is expected to increase as follows:
2023 – $31,143.29 (+$672.18), 2024 – $31,576.18 (+$432.89), 2025 – $31,926.67 (+$350.49)
2026 – $32,198.05 (+$271.38)