North Delta’s George Mackie Library (James Smith photo)

North Delta library to get improved furniture, lighting

Council approved a request for an additional $80K to be taken from library reserves

The George Mackie Library will be seeing some much-needed upgrades, thanks to an additional $80,000 in reserve funding to improve all three of Delta’s libraries.

At Delta council on Monday, April 9, council approved the use of nearly all of the city’s library reserves. The $80,000 (once approved by the Fraser Valley Regional Library) will be added to the $50,000 already approved in the 2018 business plan workshop and allow for the libraries to upgrade their furniture and lighting.

According to a staff report, Delta’s library manager and senior Fraser Valley Regional Library staff saw a need for upgrades at all three libraries, but particularly North Delta’s George Mackie Library.

“To have Fraser Valley Regional Library people go through and do a study on the state of our shelving and our chairs and things like that in the libraries, and say that they’re all in very poor condition is a bit embarrassing,” Counc. Heather Kind said at Monday night’s meeting.

“All of these different things [listed as improvements in the report], they’re not expensive by themselves — they do add up though, and we certainly appreciate that support to refresh our libraries.”

RELATED: George Mackie Library shortfalls highlighted in Delta library plan

Current priorities for the Mackie include improving lighting and decor; purchasing a soundproof meeting room divider, coming in at around $10,000; replacing the study cubicles at the library, around $5,000 for 10 units; and adding soft furnishings and an accent carpet in the children’s area of the library, a cost of around $1,000.

All three libraries also need new meeting room chairs (around $14,000 for the 150 chairs between the three libraries), as well as new public seating at the Mackie and the Ladner Pioneer Library (costing between $50,000 and $60,000). The Ladner facility is also in need of new shelving ($21,000) and the Tsawassen Library needs new seating and desks for its teen zone ($10,000).

The creation of an integrated service desk at the George Mackie Library, one of the improvements identified in Delta’s library plan, has been postponed until 2019.

The report suggested hiring an interior design professional to consult on what changes were needed to help the Mackie feel brighter.

One of the frequent comments received during the public input into the library plan was that the George Mackie Library was dark, according to the city’s manager of corporate services, Sean McGill.

“Staff weren’t convinced that just changing the lighting would give it that feel,” McGill said. “We don’t want to spend money on all new lights if it’s not going to solve the problem. Let’s get some insight into different ways to brighten up a room, whether it’s paint or something like that.”

Mayor Lois Jackson questioned whether this step was needed, noting that when the library was in its old space at the North Delta Recreation Centre, a design consultant was hired and “all the money was spent on the designer, and we didn’t have any left over to do the work.”

“I’d rather be buying chairs and paint than I would a consultant,” she said.

McGill assured Jackson the consultant would cost no more than $2,000 — likely closer to $100 an hour — and the city would determine a baseline budget before entering into a contract.

These projects are only the first improvements to Delta’s libraries; the Delta library plan identified significant gaps in service at the George Mackie Library, as well as areas where that service could be improved, including increased parking spaces, better computer connectivity and exploring the use of the FVRL’s pop-up library technology to expand the geographic reach of the library.

At the 2018 business plan workshop, $100,000 was approved for 2019 and every year thereafter to accommodate library enhancements.



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Health Minister opens ‘urgent primary care’ centre in Surrey

The centres were a promise of the NDP along the campaign trail, and the Surrey location is the fourth to open in B.C.

Dump truck crashes into hydro pole in north Surrey

Accident causes power outage in Whalley

Gas prices in Metro Vancouver to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

UPDATED: BCLC gives final approval to Delta casino

Mediator found City of Richmond did not substantiate its crime, traffic and transportation concerns

White Rock included on Maclean’s ‘most dangerous places’ listing

Cities across Canada ranked on crime severity index

Throw a snowball to help kids at BC Children’s Hospital

Effort will raise money for sick kids over the holidays

Feds give $2 million to prevent anti-extremism in B.C.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said supporting efforts locally is key to prevention

UPDATE: Pedestrian hit by train in Maple Ridge

Emergency responders on tracks along River Road

Should the legal age for cannabis be increased to 21?

B.C. residents have a more mellow attitude to the age limit for pot – but 23 per cent want the legal age increased

Expect ride hailing in B.C. by 2020, Premier Horgan says

Taxi-style insurance option needed for part-time drivers

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

The U.S. is seeking broad international support for the next-generation space station to send into orbit a in 2021

B.C. Lions GM Ed Hervey has plan for busy off-season

The Lions’ season ended Sunday with a crushing 48-8 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Division semifinal

Most Read