The Vermilion Public Library hosted its AGM on October 26 and viewed a lift proposal presentation by Universal Consulting Group Ltd. (UCG).
Board members and guests viewed two potential designs for lifts near either the front entrance (Option 1) or the back entrance (Option 2). Estimated to be approximately $250,000-$350,000, chair Justin Thompson said the project was not intended to move forward right away, but rather to be shovel-ready after they proceed with grant applications.
Architectural technologist, Alissa Gagnon, said they are looking at different kinds of lifts/limited-use elevator models. For Option 1, they will have to extend the exterior concrete over to the after-hours access adding stairs as well 60 inches for a proper turn radius and accessibility needs. Option 2 would require a whole new ramp.
“Option 1 would allow for Stuart’s office to be converted into an after-hours computer space and after-hours book sign-out, whereas Option 2 does not have that option. We have not gone into costing options yet but both would be a very similar number in the end,” said Kevin Jacques, UCG partner and senior technologist. “Honestly I think Option 1 is the best option; it takes more floor space but is more functional.”
Councillor Robert Pulyk was visiting the AGM and mentioned with the town beginning their budget deliberations and projections over the next 4-5 years, that he wanted the rough ballpark estimate to be submitted to the Town so they could be aware and discuss it as he felt it was a capital expenditure that would be of interest.
Under their new plan of service, the library works to support and enhance local sustainability, connecting to individuals with different interests so they can start a business or local club. Technology has been helping them; for example, a new door swing counter tracks how often people visit the library. They also work to connect patrons to the digital world by offering training resources and technology for people to pursue their interests (so the staff don’t have to teach but can provide access).
With so much interest and community workstations being their most readily used service, they are also looking at ways to provide 24-hour access. They are also looking to expand programming to other age groups and interests.
Aside from books, people can take out items from the library’s movie collection, video games or consoles, cameras, and recording equipment, devices to measure electrical usage from outlets in your home, or a code-a-pillar (to help children learn to a computer program).
“This year there were 722 library cards registered. You don’t need a card to use the computers or attend programs. The average library user saves approximately $1,000 by using Vermilion Public Library because with over 37,000 in total circulation, the average cost of an item is $19, and the average person borrows 52 items per year; a membership is only $15 so it is a tremendous value,” said Manager, Stuart Pauls.
During elections, Justin Thompson was named the chairperson by acclimation, Anna Giesbrecht was named treasurer by acclimation, and Maxine Hancock was named vice chair.
“You are doing a great job of providing services; the library is an important part of our community, and the funding is money well spent,” said guest, Councillor Robert Pulyk.
“Being my first year on the board, I never knew much about libraries before so it’s been an amazing learning curve seeing the work that is done, and how we can make the library more vibrant in the community,” said Councillor Kirby Whitlock.
Mayor Greg Throndson also attended the AGM as a guest and said, “I’ve never been and it was very informative. Stuart has a lot of great ideas; he is very dedicated to this place and it is excellent to see for the town.”