Board struggles to find librarian

Ever since Ponoka’s librarian Norma-Jean Colquhoun took another job the library board has worked to find one who can meet their needs

Ever since Ponoka’s librarian Norma-Jean Colquhoun took another job the library board has worked to find one who can meet their needs — and their budget.

Chairman Rick Wyrozub said it was always going to be a challenge to find someone when Colqhoun left, especially if they hire a person with a master of library sciences degree, who command salaries of $70,000 a year. “Our salaries operate on $170,000 budget.”

With funds coming from the Town of Ponoka, Ponoka County and provincial grants, the library board can draw only a certain amount of money.

“We can’t go hire a librarian at $100,000 per year,” stated Wyrozub.

Thirteen candidates applied, some from out of province, and three members of the board have conducted interviews. It has taken longer than expected because three applicants were passed on from the library in Wetaskiwin.

“I hope to have a new librarian no later than the first of November,” he said.

He also feels they will have to look at paying the new person a competitive salary but he does not want to break the budget getting there. “Asking them to work for $45,000 is not going to cut it.”

He said members of the library board are all volunteers and the experience is a new one for most of them. As interviews are almost concluded the final decision will come from the board. “I’m going to know a lot more in a week than what I know now.”