Board of directors at the Ponoka Jubilee Library approved a new initiative that will see free memberships for 2015.
The initiative is something the board wants to see as an ongoing practice at the library, explained new library manager Jaclyn Berry.
Town and county residents and folks from Maskwacis will be eligible as long as they can show proof of residency, she added. While the policy is still being worked on, she says she is excited to see its implementation. “We’re hoping actually that this will expand the library membership.”
Revenue from memberships is usually $12,000 but the board already raised $8,500 last year and they decided they just need to get the program started. She says they may ask for donations when people sign up but won’t require it.
Berry feels the need is strong for people who may not have the money buy a membership to borrow books. She says Banff has been operating this way for some time and the Edmonton Public Library promoted the same thing in 2014. Many other provinces operate the same way.
“Outside of Alberta, in a lot of places it’s built in to the taxes,” said Berry.
Berry excited to take on manager position
Being hired as the new library manager Dec. 5 was an exciting day for Berry. While she says she’ll miss organizing the programming at the library, she’s excited for the opportunity to lead staff.
“We’re only limited by our imagination,” she explained.
There are many ideas she feels will benefit the community; from adult programs to baby programs to plans for students after school. “We have kids coming in every day after school.”
Figuring out how to spend the $5,000 Telus grant the library was recently awarded is an exciting thought. Berry says setting up a maker space will be a priority but she wants to speak with other libraries that have set up their own spaces before purchasing items.
She also looks forward to advocating for the library.
“I’m such a book nerd that I can’t imagine a town without a library,” said Berry.
“I’m very excited to see how we can expand the library into one of those community hubs,” she added.
Berry says she hopes to see them move into a new, larger space in the next few years.
Staff are working on their end of year survey for clients. Anyone who fills one out gets entered into a draw to win a $50 gift card to Mackenzie’s No Frills.