DIDSBURY - It's clear even with cellphones and the internet, libraries are doing as well as ever.
This was made clear by the presentation at a recent Didsbury council meeting by the Didsbury Municipal Library Board.
Introducing the presentation was library board chair Carolyn Massel, then board treasurer Julian Ross spoke about the benefits of the library, while library manager Monique Fiedler talked about the many highlights from the past year.
Fiedler told council that the number of visits was up almost seven per cent from 2018, up to 62,223.
“We had 1,539 cardholders; the student card campaign signed up 81 students in Grades K to 8,” said Fiedler. “We had increased public computer and Wi-Fi sessions. Patrons saved over $420,000 on materials alone in 2019.”
Fiedler also talked about the programs the library operates on an annual basis.
“We had almost 4,400 participants in our programs in 2019,” she said. “Programs included everything from author talks to storytimes to English conversation cafes to daycare outreach.
“We were very focused on providing increased opportunities for people to meaningfully connect with one another in a space that facilitates both learning and play.”
She also talked about the library’s customer satisfaction survey in which most suggestions on improvement were around adding more space to the library.
“There were some excellent suggestions on how we could improve,” she said. “And as expected, a number of comments about our space. We’re looking forward to getting some traction on a number of these suggestions this year.”
Ross told council that the library continues to focus on a wide range of community needs including assisting seniors, immigrants, and families of all income statuses.
“Our library provides the opportunity for learning and discovery, thus establishing a love of literacy, a place where individuals can gather to explore, interact and imagine,” said Ross.
Although the proposed library budget was not discussed, Ross said the town’s portion ($261,135) would not increase this year as per council’s request.