The VIRL serves more than 430,000 people in 39 branches, a virtual branch and a books-by-mail service. — J.R. Rardon photo

Vancouver Island libraries approve budget increase

VIRL 2018-22 financial plan adds focus on First Nations

A stronger working relationship with First Nations is a key initiative in the Vancouver Island Regional Library’s 2018-22 financial plan, the board chair said following Saturday’s board meeting.

The VIRL Board of Trustees adopted its 2018-22 financial plan at the Sept. 16 meeting. The balanced budget of $36,487,912 for 2018 includes investing in innovative programming, collections and resources, digital technologies and innovations and committing to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

Municipal and rural levies will contribute $22,092,086 to the library budget, an overall increase of 3.98 per cent or a per capita increase of $1.19.

VIRL board chair and Qualicum Beach Coun. Barry Avis said 24 of its 39 branches will be getting First Nations elders to speak on Aboriginal issues and history. The initiative, Indigenous Voices, is meant to “strengthen our communities’ relationships, advance reconciliation and affirm our commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the (Canadian Federation of Library Associations),” according to a VIRL report on the financial plan.

In each quarter an elder would be invited to come to a branch, including Parksville, and share stories, skills and knowledge. Events would include storytelling, talking circles and discussions on Indigenous culture, heritage, protocols, skills, history, residential schools and Truth and Reconciliation. The elder would be paid a $100 honorarium.

The VIRL serves more than 430,000 people in 39 branches (including Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Bowser), a virtual branch and a books-by-mail service. It’s the fifth-largest library system in B.C., circulating more than five million items including books, magazines, CDs and DVDs.

The $1.19 per capita increase is broken down into eight components: wages and benefits ($.049), computer costs ($0.01), debt principal and interest ($0.03), administrative costs ($0.06), library materials ($0.10), projects funded by reserve ($0.11), appropriations ($0.10) and branch facility costs ($0.10).

The City of Parksville, Avis said, is planning to do some upgrades with the floor in its library branch.

“At the same time, we’ve slated through the library (board), to spend a few hundred thousand dollars on upgrades ourselves while they’re doing their upgrades,” Avis said.

Coun. Mary Beil, who represents the city on the library board, reported to city council during its regular meeting Monday evening (Sept. 18) that VIRL has adjusted its schedule for facilities upgrades as part of the financial plan.

“Our library be getting some upgrades this fall, and there are many other libraries in the larger library system that may have air quality issues or be in a poor state,” she said. “So there’s a long-term plan, so that at the end of the time frame all libraries in the system are up to a certain standard. That time frame has been extended out to five years to lessen the burden on taxpayers.”

In the coming years, Avis said, there won’t be any facilities work at the Qualicum Beach branch until at least 2021 and the Bowser branch is relatively new, so he said there won’t be any work for about another four years.

Story tips: lauren.collins@pqbnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chantal Schwark, left with Gerri Gill and Elle Schwark, 11 months old in the pumpkin patch at Arrowvale Farm. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Alberni Valley News)
Final day for Arrowvale pumpkin patch is Oct. 25

Drive down to the patch and pick your own pumpkin

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read