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Regional Library will see an increase in funding this year

Due to continued public support, the new budget will pledge an increase in funding to the Palliser Regional Library this year
palliser library
For the first time in years, the Regional Library is receiving additional funding from the provincial government.

The Palliser Regional Library is receiving an increase in funding from the provincial government for the first time in a number of years, and director Jan Smith is extremely pleased with the news.

“It's the first time since 2011 we've received a 1.5 per cent increase to a base grant from the government to run our headquarters operations, which is, as far as we're concerned, absolutely wonderful,” said Smith.

The funding was announced as a part of the recent budget and will look like an additional $128,000 spread between the five regional libraries, three city libraries, and the Pahkisimon Nuyeʔáh Library System in the province.

As for Palliser, Smith says the funding will go a long way in covering basic operations costs, such as employee payroll, and cover other hidden costs like the upcoming carbon tax.

“Because we do a lot of travel — we do about 2,000 kilometers a week delivering books in our region, plus we go out and do training — so we're figuring the carbon tax is going to be adding $1,000 to $2,000 [or so] to our budget, so this will help us with that,” said Smith.

The funding is a complete turnaround from previous years, such as the attempted funding cuts of 2017 that were restored after much public outrage.

In January, as promised in 2017, the government held a Public Library Engagement Survey, and Smith says the input received through that report played a role in budget decisions.

“The libraries had 5,800 respondents to the survey, which pretty much blew the government's mind,” Smith said. “It meant that people were still actively involved, and we really want to thank the public for taking time and going to answer the questions on the government survey. It really led to our 1.5 per cent increase.”

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