Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Township of Langley Library Plan

On Monday afternoon, Township Council received a master plan for its library system which covers the next decade. If fully implemented, the plan will cost $9.8 million and will see the expansion of library facilities in the community.

The consultants who wrote the master plan identified a magic number of .6 square feet of library space per resident which is how they determined future community library needs. I was a bit surprised that the plan didn’t talk about staffing or funding of library resources (like books, computer, etc) which are equally important.

The consultants who developed the library master plan identified three options for expanding the Township’s Library system.

Option 1:
Expand/renew libraries in existing neighbourhoods to meet 10 year projected population growth. Consider a new community library in the Willoughby area within 10 years.

Option 2:
Develop a large (40,000sf) library in a Willoughby neighbourhood within 10 years. Any expansion/renewal of existing libraries would likely be beyond the 10 year time frame.

Option 3:
Develop a smaller central library in a Willoughby neighbourhood (24,000sf) with expansion/renewal of highest priority existing libraries in years 6 to 10 of the plan. Expansion/renewal of remainder of libraries would likely be beyond the 10 year time frame.

Options 3 received the most support when presented to the public at open houses and that is the recommended option for the future library system in the Township. Option 3 would see the expansion and relocation of the Aldergrove Library into the proposed Aldergrove Community Centre, and the development of a new 24,000sf central library in the Willoughby area. The central library will serve Willowbrook, Willoughby and Walnut Grove. The plan also recommends relocating the Brookswood Library to a community facility and expanding the Fort Langley Library. The expansion/renewal needs for the Murrayville, Walnut Grove and Muriel Arnason Libraries would be considered in a future plan.

It will be good to see the library system expanded in the Township of Langley, but funding the operating budget of the library system is just as important as the construction of new buildings. The Township Library System is part of the Fraser Valley Regional Library System. Council will have to fund this plan as part of the normal budgeting process if they want to support the expansion of the library system.

1 comment:

Blair said...

The emphasis on buildings in this day and age is a bit old-fashioned. I used the library very regularly and seldom, if ever, spend any substantial time in the building itself. I use the online catalogue to discover a book I want and order it for pickup at myu local library. Frankly having small store-fronts with a centralized storage facility would work great for me.