Houston kids were happy to see new computers at the Houston Public Library. See story on page 5. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Houston Today)
Houston Public Library patrons are benefitting from the purchase of new public use computers. (Laura Blackwell photo)

Houston kids were happy to see new computers at the Houston Public Library. See story on page 5. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Houston Today) Houston Public Library patrons are benefitting from the purchase of new public use computers. (Laura Blackwell photo)

Grants enabling Houston Public Library improvements

Computers, air conditioning on the list

New computers, new furniture and air conditioning are on the list of purchases that have either happened or being contemplated at the Houston Public Library thanks to two recent grants from the provincial grant.

One grant is for $22,625.46 to assist in COVID-19 relief and the second for $7,541.82 is for emergency planning and preparedness, making for a total of $30,167.28.

“We have already purchased two new public computers to replace some old, outdated ones. We also replaced the monitors,” said library director Sara Lewis of expenditures using the COVID-19 relief grant.

On the to-do list is the purchase of some staff computers with one, the one at the front desk, 11 years old and still running Windows 7.

“It is starting to get really slow, especially after a reset,” said Lewis.

Other potential purchases include a self-checkout machine, a renovated courtyard, new furniture and shelving or expanding programming.

Lewis said the library also welcomes ideas from the community and these can be passed to her by phone, 250-845-2256, or email, director@houstonlibrary.ca.

While the library contemplates the use of its COVID-19 relief grant, it has something specific in mind for the emergency planning and preparedness grant.

“We are hoping that can be applied to the cost of the air conditioners being installed,” said Lewis.

“The idea behind the air conditioning is so that we can be an emergency cooling centre in the event of another heat dome like last year. If another event like that were to occur, we would be open during the hottest hours of the day, including Sundays and Mondays,” Lewis added.

The Houston Public Library is one of 71 public libraries in B.C. to receive COVID-19 relief and emergency planning and preparedness grants.

In all, $8 million was sent to the libraries, six regional library federations and three library service providers by the library services branch of the municipal affairs ministry.

Summer reading club preparations

Planning for the eight-week long summer reading club is continuing with this year’s theme being “All Together Now”.

“There are two big events and weekly programs,” said Lewis of crafts, games and snacks for three age groups.

Library patrons will notice that the Canfor room is being decorated to reflect the theme.