Young participants of the Spring Fling program posed for a fun photo with their handmade kites at the Rossland Public Library along with program coordinator Julie Macdermod. The fun hour of arts and crafts goes every Tuesday at the Rossland library as part of its after-school programming. The Rossland Public Library boasts a variety of great services, programs and events that can be found online at rossland.bc.libraries.coop. (Jim Bailey photo)

Young participants of the Spring Fling program posed for a fun photo with their handmade kites at the Rossland Public Library along with program coordinator Julie Macdermod. The fun hour of arts and crafts goes every Tuesday at the Rossland library as part of its after-school programming. The Rossland Public Library boasts a variety of great services, programs and events that can be found online at rossland.bc.libraries.coop. (Jim Bailey photo)

RPL: big plans for libraries grant

$8M in COVID-19 relief funding distributed between 71 public libraries and library service partners

The province’s COVID-19 relief grants for libraries will benefit all Rossland residents.

The Rossland Public Library (RPL) received about $32,000 from the fund, which will go to a variety of improvements, upgrades and resources aimed to help the community.

“It is very exciting to have received our grant from the provincial government and we have big plans,” said Rossland library director Stacey Boden.

Rossland Public Library director Stacey Boden. (Jim Bailey photo)

Rossland Public Library director Stacey Boden. (Jim Bailey photo)

A total of $8M in COVID-19 relief and recovery funding has been distributed between 71 public libraries, six library federations and three library service partners in B.C.

More than $4.2 million of the funds are designated for relief, recovery and emergency preparedness, $2.5 million to electronic resources, $775,000 to accessibility and inclusion support, and $500,000 to network, technology and connectivity support.

“Part of it is designated for emergency preparedness, so we are going to have workshops like ‘build your own emergency bin’ or an ‘evacuation plan’, or ‘work with the Red Cross,’” explained Boden.

RPL is also getting an air quality monitor specific for Rossland and its residents, in the event of more smoke from wildfires.

“Instead of having to check Castlegar, there will be one for Rossland, which is great.”

Kootenay West MLA, Katrine Conroy said, “Libraries are foundational community institutions that keep everyone from seniors to children connected with each other.

“This funding will ensure that libraries will remain at the centre of our communities and continue providing access to learning and resources for the modern reader.”

With the funds, libraries can reinstate lost services, enhance existing ones, or create new services for library goers, while also filling gaps created by the pandemic.

“We’re definitely going to boost our collection,” said Boden. “We are adding some genre organization, which is great.

“We have an extra staff member that can do collection development, which is so nice to have for now, and also the pandemic taught us a lot about our space and how we can be a little more efficient, so we’ll move some stuff around.”

The RPL offers an aesthetic, intellectual and physical sanctuary, a place where residents can relax and enjoy a good read or the wonderful paintings and sculptures provided by local artists.

In addition, RPL also functions as a heating and cooling centre for Golden City residents to escape the chill of winter or the summer heat domes.

“When it’s colder we get a lot of people in for the heat, and when it’s warm we get a lot in for the air conditioning,” said Boden.

Other West Kootenay beneficiaries include the Trail and District Public Library, $36,000, Beaver Valley Public Library, $33,000, the Castlegar and District Public Library, $39,000, and the Nelson Municipal Public Library, $42,000.

“This one-time boost in funding will have a significant, positive impact on the ability of public libraries to improve access to all types of library resources, services and programs, with the goal of building resilient communities,” said Mike Gagel, president, BC Library Trustees Association. “With extra funding, public libraries can provide services that put people first, enabling B.C. citizens to build skills that help build economies and make life more affordable.”

The investment builds on a one-time $3 million investment in public libraries in 2020, to expand digital services and computer access during the pandemic.

“We’re just so excited that we are open, and it’s been a great year so far, and this will help us make it better,” added Boden.

Government also provides $14 million in annual funding toward operating costs at B.C.’s public libraries.

Read: Rossland library rings in new year of programming



sports@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Rosslandsf library