The Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) is looking to adapt to change driven by technological advances that have radically transformed the way people access information.
Revelstoke’s library, which is part of the ORL system, held an ideas lab on Nov. 4 to gather input from the public.
“Could the role of the library change?” asked ORL Executive director Stephanie Hall at the evening session.
Hall said the ORL board of directors recently considered how to prioritize the library’s traditional roles with emerging opportunities in such areas as teaching digital literacy, educational and cultural partnerships, and revitalization of library spaces.
“We are hearing from people with all kinds of needs — for example, many want help with learning about technology and some want us to support their creativity through things such as workshops on e-publishing, access to 3-D printers, laser cutters, video or sound recording equipment,” Hall explained. “Some would like us to expand our work in supporting learning and literacy with more author readings, and partnering with schools and post-secondary institutions.”
“The way people learn is changing,” Hall said. “The library also needs to evolve.”
At the evening workshop, about three dozen attendees discussed ways the library could evolve. The suggestions are too numerous to list. They included ideas like improving workspaces, better internet access, improvements to the facility, streamlined online library services, adapting the library space to better meet community needs, adding office services like copying, adding audio recording or video production equipment, and adapting the hours to meet demand.
A series of displays brought in by ORL staff went even further, suggesting the library could even hold yoga classes, host a 3–D printer, have business workspace pods and more.
Consultants will now compile the input into a report.
The library board recently approved a tax increase of just under 2%.
At a Oct. 18 ORL meeting, directors approved a total budget for 2016 of $18,247,446. This represents a 1.98% increase, or $351,818, over the 2015 budget. Half of the increase will fund negotiated wage increases for staff, while other increases are related to higher rents and utilities, and higher book and eResource costs based on inflation and the effect of the lower Canadian dollar.
—with files from an ORL media release
What ideas do you have for evolving the Revelstoke Library to meet changes in the information technology landscape? Start the discussion below with your suggestions.