At the May 19th, 2021 Meeting of the Okanagan Regional Library Board of Trustees, the Board was presented with a financial "clean bill of health" from auditors BDO Canada for the 2020 fiscal year. The Library system strengthened its balance sheet in 2020 with an increase in financial assets and decreased the overall net debt. It also posted a surplus for the year, most of which will be transferred to the building reserve to help to finance new branches such as West Kelowna.
The Library system looks ahead. Early planning is getting underway with the establishment of the 2022 budget preparation timeline, which will see the Board Finance Committee work with staff between now and September to recommend a budget to the Board. The Board must adopt next year's budget by its November meetings later this year.
The Board reviewed and approved the ORL 2020 Annual Report. 2020 was a challenging year for all of us. Like most other businesses and organizations, ORL had to constantly monitor and adjust service levels to ensure public and staff safety, compliance with public health mandates and recommendations and ORL's responsibilities to the communities.
The Annual Report highlighted many statistics which illustrate the significant impact ORL branches have on the communities they serve. The report also demonstrated the clear need and demand for libraries, especially during the Covid19 pandemic.
Considering that due to the pandemic, ORL buildings were closed for over two months, after which curbside holds pickup was available for the following two months, and ORL did not offer in-person programs for most of the year, the library still managed:
Established in 1936, the Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) is the 16th largest library system in Canada, serving over 400,000 residents through 31 branches. It covers 59,600 square kilometres of some of the most beautiful territories in BC, stretching from Golden in the Rockies to Osoyoos in the heart of the Okanagan wine and fruit growing areas. The system is staffed by energetic and committed people who have begun shifting to a more learning and technology-focused service.