At the October 19 meeting of the Okanagan Regional Library Board of Trustees, the board approved a budget for the 2012 year of $16.07 million. This represents a 2.68 per cent net increase to taxpayers in the ORL district, with extra funds earmarked for several projects and services to respond to ever increasing demand for library services.
In addition to the new Vernon branch under construction, the board approved an expansion of the Westbank branch in Westridge Mall from its current size of 6,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet. West Kelowna is the third largest municipality in the ORL system behind Kelowna and Vernon, and both West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation’s populations have grown. Also, the library branch in downtown Kelowna will be re-carpeted in 2012 as part of a multi-phase upgrade to the 16-year-old facility.
Recognizing how many ORL customers access the library digitally, the board approved funding for a “virtual branch” manager to oversee online services and for the creation of a mobile-friendly online catalogue. A plan for information technology was also approved that sets aside funding for new library cataloguing software, which will be needed to replace the current ORL catalogue software which is five years old and no longer supported by the developer.
The 2012 budget was approved by a weighted vote of the board, with 306 votes for and 43 opposed.
Okanagan Regional Library press release