Stettler Library has most successful month in history

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Stettler Public Library Manager Matt Barabash holds a couple of books while taking residency in one of the isles of the library on Mon. June 18. The Library had a record number of books distributed in a single month at 8,666 books being withdrawn. ECA Review/T. Huxley

April was considered the best month the Stettler Public Library ever witnessed in its 90 years of operation.
A combination of winter weather and outreach services contributed to the varying demographic that walked through the doors of the library that month.
“We had the highest circulation in the month of April for essentially the history of the library so it was about a few thousand books more than we usually do,” said Stettler Library Manager Matt Barabash.
Thanks to these outreach services in County of Stettler’s populated areas, the circulation has expanded by upwards of 25 per cent.
In house use, when a person visits the library, uses a book and then puts it back on the shelf, is 1,515 visits, 8,666 in total.
“Our in-person visits have been going up, circulation has been going up, a normal circulation count for us last year was hovering around 6,000 to 7,000 items whereas this year we are getting mid 7,000’s up to upper 7,000’s and it just spiked in April to 8,666.
“It’s just nice to see a gradual increase and even in 2013 we were seeing about 5,000, 6,000 items per month but that has gone up to about 7,000 or 8,000.”
The Parkland Regional Library (PRL) Board has also announced the construction of a new building in Lacombe due to the aging facilities currently present.
The building was originally founded in the 1960’s and was continually added on to as the years went by.
PRL received a grant for $2.4 million and wanted to explore their options of a total renovation or to build a brand new building.
Stettler County Councillor and PRL board member Les Stulberg believes “It makes better sense to build new”.
“To bring it up to standards of today, it would take a renovation and it still isn’t updated to the usage that they would want. I know that the board room is too small and there is just different things that are needed in the library right now,” explained Stulberg.
One of the tenders that applied to construct the new building has also offered $2 million to purchase the existing structure at the assessed value.
This allows the board to reach their goal of $4 million to cover the costs of the work as they are not eligible to receive a loan from the bank.
“I personally think it’s a great idea because it will serve these 65 communities in East Central Alberta very well and to me it makes perfect sense to build new rather than put money into an old building,” said Stulberg.

Terri Huxley
ECA Review

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