Library balances books as part of 10-year plan

NANAIMO – Budget increases allow for technology upgrades, maintenance
and facility costs.

  • Oct. 2, 2013 12:00 p.m.

The board of Vancouver Island Regional Library adopted a balanced operating budget of $23,038,586 for 2014, allowing for higher technology, facility and maintenance costs.

Municipal and rural levies will contribute $18,678,364 to the library budget, which represents an increase of 6.94 per cent, or an average per capita amount of $2.89, according to a press release from the library. The increase in costs drives the Vancouver Island Regional Library’s strategic 10-year plan to financial sustainability and service level expectations to the 38 communities it serves.

In June of 2010, the board approved a 10-year plan to deal with more than $2.4 million in deferred maintenance issues at branch libraries.Now in the fourth year of that plan, this year’s budget both balances the redevelopment and maintenance of these branch facilities while investing in technology services that will offset the demands of bricks and mortar library locations in the future.

“We are balancing redevelopment and maintenance of facilities by taking advantage of new technologies. We are staying the course towards achieving sustainability by utilizing moderate budget increases to support long term plans,” said Adrian Maas, director of finance, Vancouver Island Regional Library.

The remainder of the budgeted revenues come from overdue and other fees, and investment income.

“We’re driven to provide the public with services that meets their expectations while operating within a balanced budget and we believe that we’ve accomplished this,” said board chairman Bruce Jolliffe.

Vancouver Island Regional Library is the fourth largest library system in British Columbia, serving more than 430,000 people on Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii and Bella Coola through 38 branch libraries, a virtual branch, and a books-by-mail service.