KAWARTHA LAKES-Faye Carslake has lived in Dunsford her whole life. She spearheaded a campaign to keep the library in town and it appears to have worked-for at least a year. “We are very excited” she told Kawartha 411.
Carslake was one of a handful of Dunsford residents who showed up at a Kawartha Lakes Library Board meeting Thursday night where the future of the library was being debated. Councillor and Board member Mary-Ann Martin said “I think the comments and questions raised were very similar to that when the city did the community centres and arenas in various areas. People are passionate about what they have and they don’t want it to be taken away,but we have to look at the big picture the financial costs and the long term costs.”
The lease of the library costs $20,000 a year. it’s one of the only libraries in the City that isn’t located in a city owned building. The board has been reviewing a number of libraries across the region for efficiency and usage. The Burnt River Library was closed after a similar review.
Board member Nanci Byer was the only member to vote against extending the lease. Before the vote she wasn’t sure which way to go. ” I was also impressed by the passion of the attendees at the meeting last week but that passion was in no way different from the passion we heard at the Burnt River branch when we had consultations for that population. I understand the importance of the branch to the community and I’m actually relatively uncertain about my position.”
Councillor Andrew Veale was also uncertain, “I can totally appreciate where the community is coming from and their concern over their community. At the same point I am still mindful of the library system as a whole.” After some discussion Veale voted in favour of the extension.
Sue Fergusson said she was impressed by the can-do attitude of residents, “I heard from them ask not what the county can do for me but what can I do for the library and thats the sense I got from that community. We want this and we are prepared to step up to make it stay here.” She also voted in favour.
Now that they have been given one year to improve the library’s fortunes, residents are ready to get to work. “We are going to do our best, we are going to promote it.” Carslake told Kawartha 411. “Our minister has come forward with a lot of ideas so she is going to work with us. We are going to approach the Dunsford school and see if we can get a program going with them”
They also plan on setting up a “Friends of the Library” organization to help raise awareness and funds.
Resident Jim Thurston says the board also must do it’s part. “It’s promotion and the library should be doing it on their behalf as much as we should be doing it on our behalf.”
Councillor Veale agreed, “The only thing thats going to change that is marketing the services the library provides to the community, and to actually get out in the community and go to where the people are.” he said.
The Board is in the process of recruiting a new CEO and the outgoing CEO, Diane Lansdell thought no decisions to close the library should be made until the incoming had a chance to explore the options. “I think starting at this time there’s a lot of projects on the go and staff turnover. I would really like for this to be extended to give that new person time to have some input into whats to come.”
The Board has held seven hours of interviews for the new CEO and will be setting up final interview for September 22.
The board voted almost unanimously to extend the Lunsford Library lease for one year.