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The Verner Public Library will stay open

Hang on to those library cards, Verner.

The Verner Public Library, located at Highway 64 and Principal Street, in Verner, is not closing, West Nipissing council assured residents.

“There has never been any comment or statement that we’re shutting down the library or any building,” emphasized Jay Barbeau, the municipality’s Chief Administrative Officer. He added that during budget talks, it was mentioned “that we have some challenges with that building,” but there was no decision to close the facility.

Not only that but “There was absolutely no discussion about closing the library in Verner or anywhere else.” He continued to “assure the public, and the people on the library board that this is not the intent” of council.

“It is not on the radar,” of council’s agenda, he affirmed, speaking of a closure. The building does need some work – those above-mentioned “challenges” – but that is being addressed in the budget discussions.

Councillor Kaitlynn Nicol sits on the library board. “It was brought to our board because there was some misinformation that it was closing,” she said. “Patrons were coming in, and a lot of people were upset and worried” by the rumour.

As such, the library board discussed the issue at its January 11 meeting, and that discussion was noted in the minutes – item 7 “possible building closure?” – which further spurred the scuttlebutt.

“There has never been any discussion either at this council table or at the library board that we would be decreasing any level of service at the libraries,” Mayor Kathleen Thorne Rochon clarified.

So, keep those cards handy, Verner. Your library awaits you.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca