The RDOS announced earlier this month that they would provide supplementary funding in the amount of $16,311. This funding comes from Areas B, G, and the Village of Keremeos, who are each contributing a proportional amount based on their population. This funding is much appreciated and will help to keep the library’s doors open five days a week. Local government has many priorities seeking tax dollars, and we want to recognize all three jurisdictions for their decision to contribute to learning and literacy in the Keremeos, Cawston, and Olalla areas.
However, it’s important to clarify that, as the funding is reduced by roughly $9,000, it will have an impact on staff. The ORL presented three funding options at a public council meeting in 2015, and the option to provide funding at the $16,000 level incorporated a reduction in staffing. Average staffing over the year will be reduced from 60.5 staff hours per week to 53.5 hours per week. The impact of this will be felt in a few ways – staff will be very busy coping with an already full workload, and there will be less capacity for some partnerships, programs, and outreach.
The decision to place the priority on open hours was based on public feedback received at a large public meeting convened in 2015, and via email and survey feedback. The ORL heard from many passionate library supporters that hours of opening were critical. One item to note is that the supplementary funding provided by the RDOS is for 2017 only. If no additional funding from provincial or local government sources can be found for 2018, staffing levels would be reduced further, and open hours would drop to 20 per week.
The library will be looking at ways to support the Keremeos staff through this transition, and will be providing some additional staffing in the busy summer season. Any questions about staffing and services should be directed to ORL’s CEO, Stephanie Hall, who may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. CEO Stephanie Hall will host an information session in the branch later in May, and the date will be publicized in the branch, online and in the paper. Questions on funding should be directed to the RDOS.