More staff, more space at new Bracebridge Library
An update was presented to Council about the Bracebridge Public Library (BPL), in the September 5th General Committee meeting.
According to the staff report, once the BPL, that will be renamed as The Coulson Family Bracebridge Library, takes occupancy at the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre (MLCC), it’s expected to be 153% larger than the existing location. The current Manitoba Street location is 8700 square feet and will increase to 22,000 square feet.
The number of staff will also increase to accommodate the new facility size and increase in programs and services. The report indicates, “The Library’s organizational restructuring in 2024 results in a 53% increase in Library staff full-time equivalent.”
There will be six new positions to fill, including one full-time Makerspace Coordinator, one part-time Administrative Assistant, one part-time Technician/Technical Services, one full-time and two part-time Library Assistant/Programming, one part-time Circulation Clerk, and one part-time/Casual Pages.
Two positions and their responsibilities will also be changed. The Community Engagement and Programing Coordinator will be changed to Manager of Community Engagement and Programing, and the Technical Services Coordinator will be changed to Manager of Technical Services.
The hours are also scheduled to change to accommodate the growing community. The library plans to extend the hours, including four hours on Sunday, making for a seven-day week. Extended evening and weekend hours are also being considered for 2025 as needed.
Councillor, Don Smith, who is a representative on the library board, said, “I know that a lot of work has gone into preparations… I know that there are a lot of exciting things that are planned relative to the opening of the new facility… We have a lot of staff doing some very exciting work at the library.”
Mayor, Rick Maloney, said, “With the new facility that’s entering into the twenty first century of library services, and offering, I’ll say, a plethora of new programming opportunities that their community wants to see in its library, then that has to be supported.”
Maloney added, “You can build it, but they won’t necessarily come if you don’t have the support and the staff behind that to ensure that the robust and programming opportunities that our new library will offer will be used.” He emphasized that staff support is crucial “so that the community gets the best of it’s investment.”
Councillor, Debbie Vernon, expressed enthusiasm about the new facility. She said, “I’m pretty excited to see a studio, where citizens can go and record. I think that’s pretty unique for a library. That’s amazing.”
Occupancy of the new library will occur upon the completion of the MLCC, scheduled for May 2024.