I am responding to the letter from Joe Anglin in the Feb. 12 Rimbey Review. I was on the Rimbey Municipal Library Board for the past 10 years. During that time the library needed more space and the Board identified space as our number one concern in our five-year plans. We also informed council of our need for more space many times. I have been involved with the library for over 30 years and space has always been an issue. With the move into the town office space the library will finally have breathing room and a beautiful facility for our community.
In his letter Mr. Anglin quoted recommended square footage figures. The figures that the Library Board used to determine our needs are as follows. The library serves both the town and the west end of Ponoka County — a population of almost 7,000. According to the November 2010 document, “Standards and Best Practices for Public Libraries in Alberta” (available on the government of Alberta website under Municipal Affairs) a population of 7,000 ideally should have a library of 6,500 square feet.
His letter also suggested the use of school libraries as part of public library service. School library collections are tailored to serve school curriculum needs. The demands on our small underfunded school libraries are already great. School libraries cannot serve the needs of the general public.
The Rimbey Municipal Library has been in existence for more than 50 years. Programming for children has always been a part of what the library does.
Last year the library received 37,674 visitors up from 35,000 in 2011. It is a busy well-used space but it no longer meets our community’s needs. Staff and the public are literally falling over things in the cramped space.
Mr. Anglin’s letter undermined years of hard work by the library board and staff to improve and maintain quality library services in Rimbey. I ask Mr. Anglin to reconsider his position and support the library’s well-deserved move.
We have a wonderful community and the Rimbey Municipal Library provides a public space for us all.