Mark Canadian Library Week Here
Carleton Place Canadian, March 31, 1966
This is “Canadian Library Week”. From March 28th to April 2nd, there will be a good deal of special publicity on the part of the Library Associations and Library Boards to bring home to Canadians the importance of libraries and to encourage their greater use.
In our Public Library there are some interesting historical records. These show that in 1846 a subscription Library was formed with an entry fee of two shillings and sixpence and an annual fee of five shillings. This first library later became the Mechanics’ Institute. The Institute carried on until May 1st, 1895, when it handed over its affairs to a newly formed Public Library which has continued to the present day for most, if not all of the period of seventy-one years, in the Town Hall.
For a long time annual grants from the Town and the Province were small and fixed in amount. Books, however, were much cheaper than now, as were all other running expenses, and through the years the book collection grew steadily. Increases in both Town and Provincial grants during the last few years have brought to the Library Board the unaccustomed luxury of having more money to spend on books than ever before.
With more money to spend on books, there has been a corresponding increase in the use of the library by the public. In 1965 the number of books taken out was 27,111, an increase of 23% in five years. This total showed an adult circulation of 15,789 and a juvenile circulation of 11,322. This is 5.7 books borrowed per capita, considered by established Library standards to be quite good.
In 1965, the amount of 2,855 was spent on 968 new books out of a total effective budget of $6,185. The Board’s policy in buying books is to spend approximately one-third for juvenile books, one-third for fiction, and one-third for non-fiction. The librarian reports that the Library contains about 15,000 volumes.
The Board works closely with the schools, not only in buying books and encyclopaedias which will be helpful in the students’ studies, but also by making the Library available for weekly visits by school classes with their teachers.
In the evenings, the Library tables are often filled with students working on their school assignments and projects with the help of books which are not to be found elsewhere, particularly out of school hours. The fact that 11,322 books were taken out by juveniles during 1965 shows how well this policy of welcoming them to the Library is working out. Undoubtedly, this feature of the Library as an adjunct to the education of our young people is of important value at a low cost to the taxpayer.
For adult readers great care is taken to provide, as far as funds allow, for the reading tastes of all library users. The reference section is being steadily improved with the latest editions of standard encyclopaedias, dictionaries, and other useful and informative books.
Lately, at the insistence of the Ontario Library Association and with the blessing and financial backing of the Provincial Department of Education, a firm of library consultants has conducted an intensive province-wide survey of School, University, and Public Libraries. Their report is now available, a document of one hundred and eighty-two pages. It finds the library set-up in Ontario wanting in many respects and makes recommendations for far-reaching changes.
It seems that a new day is dawning for library services in the Province, and that, after long years of comparative neglect, our University, School, and Public Libraries will have the quantity and quality of books and other services which the authorities who know most about the subject recommend as necessary in these times. As an indication of what is to come, the local Library Board has been informed that its Provincial grant will be increased by fifty percent for the present year.
This is good news for the Library Board and for all library users in this town. But at present our Librarian, Mrs. Walsh, is faced with a problem of space. Our library, in use for well over half a century, is already “bursting at the seams”. Even with the most drastic and heartless weeding, Mrs. Walsh wants to know where she can possibly find room for this additional flow of new books. The Board has suggested to the Project Committee and to the Council what it considers to be an entirely satisfactory answer to the problem, and earnestly hopes that its suggestion will be adopted.
Carleton Place Canadian, March 17, 1966
Expect Library, Centennial Project
The special project committee of Carleton Place Council leans toward adopting renovations to the town hall to include a new library and court room and police facilities, according to a preliminary report given Council last Monday evening.
Chairman of the committee, Councillor John Ritchie, observed the committee was in favor of library renovations which would require moving this facility to the second floor auditorium and enlarging the court room and police facilities on the ground floor.
He requested that a special meeting of Council be held to consider the library as the town’s centennial project. He first wanted his committee to meet with E. H. Ritchie, chairman of the Library Board.
The arena was dropped as the centennial project at a special meeting of Council last week because sufficient funds were not immediately available to guarantee a useable building by the centennial deadline for grants. Municipal tax assistance or debentures have been ruled out by the Ontario Municipal Board.