Perth South Council: St. Marys Library CEO presents 2021 contract request

·2 min read

By Spencer Seymour, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Township of Perth South's Council met twice last week, with one of their meetings featuring a presentation from library CEOs from St. Marys, Stratford, and Huron County regarding the Township's requested contribution to their 2021 operations.

Last Tuesday, St. Marys Library CEO Sarah Andrews led a presentation on library services and a proposed 2021 service contract with Perth South. Also present for the discussion were Huron County Library Acting CEO Elizabeth French-Gibson, Stratford Public Library CEO Julia Merritt, and St. Marys Library Board Chair Cole Atlin.

Andrews spoke about the changes to library services in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes curbside pickup, enhanced digital content, online programs, fines suspended, continued material delivery. She then spoke about the usage from Perth South residents, mentioning that the libraries have 841 active users from the Township, as well as more than 10,300 physical checkouts and over 340 digital-only users.

Andrews then laid out the contract request by the three libraries from Perth South. The total cost is $119,126, with the St. Marys Library receiving $66,963, the Stratford Library receiving $41,443, and the Huron County Library receiving $10,720. The requested funds are divided between the three libraries by proportional usage of their services by Perth South residents. The only question from the Council came from Deputy Mayor Jim Aitcheson, who asked how this year's ask compares to the 2020 request. Andrews said that it's a two percent increase, which is an increase of just under $2,400. No decision on this was made at this time but a decision will likely be made in the coming weeks as Perth South continues its 2021 budget deliberations.

Spencer Seymour, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Marys Independent