James Smith photo

James Smith photo

Delta library plan consultation scheduled for September

The draft plan outlines improvements to Mackie Library, consultation could bring more

Delta’s libraries could be getting an upgrade under a new strategic plan.

The draft plan, approved by council on May 8, included a recommendation that community members would be able to weigh in on Delta’s current library system through a public engagement process similar to the one undertaken for the Delta Museum.

Over the next three months, residents will be able to attend public consultation sessions at each of Delta’s three libraries — North Delta’s George Mackie Library, the Ladner Pioneer Library and Tsawwassen Library — as well as participate in an online comment process through the Corporation of Delta’s website.

The public consultation session for the George Mackie Library is scheduled for Sept. 6 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The Ladner Pioneer Library consultation session will be on Sept. 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and the Tsawwassen Library session will be on Sept. 15 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Delta staff are expected to provide a revised library plan for council’s approval by the end of the year.

The draft library plan outlines a number of improvements that could help Delta’s libraries remain consistent with the rest of the Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) system.

Although Delta’s libraries are planned, owned and maintained by the municipality, FVRL provides the staff to run the libraries.

Improvements across all three libraries are discussed in the draft plan; however, it specifically recommends the creation of an integrated service desk at the George Mackie Library to “enhance the cross-training of Delta staff and maximize existing staffing,” as well using Rick Hansen Accessibility Grant funding to improve the library’s accessibility.

Across all three libraries, the plan recommends that Delta staff develop a list of strategic building improvments and explore additional parking options.

The draft library plan also outlines a number of weaknesses specific to the George Mackie Library.

A FVRL 2010 model outlines the level of service that a library can be reasonably expected to uphold. For a library serving a population of 52,000, there should be between 15 and 20 full-time staff, and three or four librarians. Currently, the Mackie Library has 9.9 full-time equivalent staff and two community librarians.

The Mackie Library is also undersized by FVRL optimal service level standards. The current library is 11,400 square feet; the FVRL optimal service level is between 16,000 and 24,000 square feet.

Both the Ladner Pioneer Library and the Tsawwassen Library meet all of the optimal services levels for their population base.