More people signing up for the Grand Valley Public Library

·2 min read

More residents are using the Grand Valley Public Library.

There are now 2,164 cardholders; an increase of five per cent from 2019 for the athenaeum.

“It proves libraries are an essential service,” said Joanne Stevenson, CEO. “It helps people’s mental health. Reading is one of those time-fillers that helps you cope. If you don’t want to deal with your own life, you can read a book and go into someone else’s.”

About 1,401 of those cardholders — an increase of four per cent — are from Grand Valley; 376 from the Amaranth, an increase of four per cent; and 220 from East Garafraxa, an increase of three per cent. About 65 are summer residences and 102 others.

Stevenson presented their 2020 annual report and 2021 budget to the Grand Valley council on Tuesday.

Budgeted expenses and actual figures were highlighted as a projected budget for this year.

The administration was broken down into five categories: staff salaries and vacation pay, benefits, association fees, education and conference expenses, and summer students.

The budget for 2020 was greater than what they actually spent, representing an oddity for the library.

“Normally, we would be using all of that money, but we were closed,” said Stevenson. “Staff were laid off, and we were at reduced hours. Last year was an odd year. We had little over a month where the staff was laid off, so there are wages that weren’t spent.”

The library has added five internet mobile hotspots to the collection, PressReader — an online database for current and back issue newspapers and magazines, website updates, virtual programs and curbside craft kits.

“There are people in rural areas who don’t have very good internet, or some people are supplementing their internet because rural internet is different from in-town internet,” said Stevenson. “With kids doing projects from school at home, the internet is being used all the time.”

About 36,526 items were borrowed. A total of 10,948 were children’s materials, 7,495 adult fiction and 611 teen materials.

Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner