Dorset library branch faces changes
By Sue Tiffin
Published Sept. 14, 2017
The following are brief reports of items discussed during a Sept. 7 Algonquin Highlands council meeting.
The future of Dorset’s library was discussed at Algonquin Highlands council on Sept. 5, when Deputy Mayor Liz Danielsen, who sits on the Haliburton County Public Library board, brought the ongoing issue of sustainability of the Dorset and Cardiff branches to council.
The Dorset library, located in the Dorset Recreation Centre at 1051 Main Street, is open on Tuesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and on Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dorset and Cardiff have the smallest circulation numbers, with Dorset circulating 1,360 items and Cardiff circulating 961 items this year, up to August.
“The conversation is not about eliminating library services, but augmenting or transitioning,” said Mayor Carol Moffatt. “This isn’t a slash and burn conversation, it’s about efficiency for a changing demographic.”
Councillor Marlene Kyle noted that libraries are a very essential part of the community and said it would be informative to have the operating costs to understand better how to improve traffic at the Dorset branch. Councillor Lisa Barry wondered if the numbers would change if the community knew the library’s use was suffering. Moffatt said in previous years, when discussion about a possible library closure came up, the community reacted quickly.
“There was a tremendous and vocal discussion, and people came out in droves to support the library,” she said. “But it dwindled back down and plummeted to what we see now.”
Dysart’s library had the greatest circulation of the year so far with 41,055 items, compared to Minden’s 33,395 items.
Chris Card, parks, recreation and trails manager, said visitor information showed the library was mostly being used to access computers.
“To me it’s about how to make best use of the space,” said Moffatt, who stressed several times that the conversation was not about “not having a library, but talking about reshaping the offering.”
Council is requesting more detailed statistics and programming information from the Library Board.
New playground for Stanhope
Councillors discussed two of three playground equipment options in looking to replace and upgrade equipment at Stanhope playground to meet accessibility requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. An option from Openspace Solutions Inc. was recommended by Card, due to the proposal achieving the highest overall score on a matrix that looked at design standards, play space minimum requirements and project requirements. Although Openspace Solutions Inc. offered the only equipment that was sourced in Canada, councillors opted for equipment from New World Park Solutions Inc. instead based on the design of the playground, which they described as being more cohesive.
The playground will cost $61, 608.46 plus applicable tax, with $43,875 coming from an Enabling Accessibility Fund grant and $23,625 plus in-kind staffing time being funded by the township. The life expectancy of the equipment is up to 20 years.
Motorcycle fundraisers driving through Dorset
Councillors agreed to support the Dorset Heritage Museum’s participation in a motorcycle fundraising event called A Fall Ride on Sept. 23, and also one in the spring of 2018 called Black Fly Run.