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

Letter: City of Delta and council lack library vision

Reader writes that library services are need of leadership and direction, especially in North Delta

As a new resident of North Delta, after spending 35 years in Richmond, it is obvious that library services are need of leadership and direction, especially in the under-served north.

North Delta is home to over 60 per cent of the population and out of the 3 Delta communities, it is expected to have the highest growth rate according to the 2017 Delta Social Profile. However, it has only one outdated facility with 35 per cent of the total square footage of library space in the city.

Cramped and drab, both the physical spaces and collection at [the] George Mackie [Library] are uninspired and neglected by the city and council. Highlighted by Coun. Kanakos in January 2018, (“George Mackie Library shortfalls highlighted in Delta library plan,” NDR Vol. 3 No. 2, Jan. 11, 2018) there is an ongoing gap in the level of service to North Delta, despite the 2018 Strategic Plan raising concerns.

The anemic 2017 consultation, which saw only 110 online surveys and 50 in person visits, mostly in South Delta, highlighted some problem areas but failed to address long-term needs. Only superficial maintenance and updates to lighting and furniture have been initiated, to bring [the] George Mackie [Library] to a basic level of functioning. More is needed, starting with an expanded facility that can be a cultural and learning hub for the community.

It is time for city and council to step up, take ownership of library services back from FVRL and have clear vision and concrete plan for a region-leading system to support the growing community.

Sanjiv Khangura

North Delta resident and former City of Richmond Library Board member

via email

Read more about recent improvements to North Delta’s George Mackie Library:

Delta residents weigh in on library plan (Oct. 26, 2017)

George Mackie Library shortfalls highlighted in Delta library plan (Jan. 11, 2018)

Accessibility improvements at North Delta’s George Mackie Library don’t go far enough, says resident (Jan. 12, 2018)

North Delta library washrooms now completely accessible (March 1, 2018)

North Delta library to get improved furniture, lighting (April 12, 2018)

$94K in new furniture on the way for Delta libraries (Aug. 3, 2018)

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