Houston Public Library is getting increases in funding from District of Houston in 2015.

Houston council approves Library funding increase

Over the past two years, Library funding from the District of Houston has increased 12 percent to $118,000 starting 2015.

Over the past two years, Library funding from the District of Houston has increased 12 percent.

Council approved a $3,000 increase last Tuesday, upping the Library’s annual grant to $118,000 starting in 2015.

This follows a $9,500 increase for 2014, which was considered a catch up for the prior three years when no increases were made, said Director of Finance William Wallace.

Library Director Toni McKilligan and Treasurer Sue Jones requested the increase and gave a presentation at a town council meeting Oct. 21.

Jones said they’ve been keeping costs low and this increase is “small but important” for the Library to keep providing services.

McKilligan says the Library has been providing more and better resources with less.

“We’ve really been focusing on improving our services to patrons,” she said.

A new classification system was set up this year, allowing Library users to browse more easily and find what they need.

“Our collection is now being utilized way better then it used to be,” McKilligan said.

Staff also are seeing more easily which sections of material to build up and update, she added.

“Collection development is much more streamlined, much more focused, and much more efficient then it has been in the past.”

The Houston Library was also instrumental in launching a pilot project called “Inter-Library Connect,” a new system of resource sharing between Libraries.

The system will replace the old “Outlook” system, which McKilligan says is outdated and costing the Province $120,000 annually to support.

Inter-Library Connect started in the Northern Library Federation and now there are 30 Libraries in two other B.C. Library Federations using it, McKilligan said.

They’re working to spread it further across the province and should see further development in the new year.

This means patrons will “have seamless access to way more then what we can offer though our local collection,” McKilligan said.

“Between Interlibrary Connect and our new system, we’re really being able to provide more and better for our patrons, for a lot less money.”

McKilligan says their biggest jump in service demand is for public computers and wi-fi access.

Wi-fi users are up 27 percent from last year and average 646 users per month, with 40 to 50 more accessing after hours, she said.

While use is up, grant funding for technology is gone, and McKilligan says funding is coming out of the regular operation budget.

Digital resources are also a big hit, with 15 to 20 percent of circulation now through an online database.

The Library offers patrons over 400 magazines free at the moment of publication, paying just under $300 a year for the Zinio magazine database.

“It’s a service that people are really appreciating and really wanting,” McKIlligan said.

Sue Jones says the Library is great for people coming into the community.

An environmental consulting group called Tera CH2M HILL even rented the Canfor Room and McKilligan says they ran an office out of the Library from the end of August through October.

“I think it’s really cool what’s going on,” Jones said.


Just Posted

CN train derails near New Hazelton

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved

Houston introduces Change program

Program offers lifestyle intervention to patients with metabolic syndrome

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Property sales up in Houston in 2017

Average selling price of single-family homes has also increased

Alexandra Park, undeveloped wonderland

Alexandra Park is located behind the Houston Leisure Facility at the end… Continue reading

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows rescue of B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

Most Read