Last time AGM for library Muni to take over in 1999 By Chris Woodall Whistler's public library held its last annual general meeting, Feb. 4, electing a slate of trustees to see the library become a municipal service on Jan. 1, 1999. "The trustees have been elected for one more year, then they'll get in touch with the municipality by the fall to discuss selecting a board of directors," says Joan Richoz, library director. The trustees for 1998 are Sharon Broatch, Marilyn Crichton, Dan Greene, Anne Fenwick, Betty McWhinnie, Bea Searle, Marlene Siemens and Jennifer Zillard. The municipality is likely to pick several current trustees to make up the inaugural library board, Richoz says. The final group of public trustees will leave the library in great shape. Total collections are 2,000 units more than last year, increases coming mainly in adult non-fiction books (now 7,256 items) and videos (472 from 357 available last year). It's hugely popular, too. Almost 10,000 more items were borrowed in 1997 than in 1996, to a total of 80,315 books, tapes, magazines and so on. On its way to agreeing to assume responsibility for the library, the municipal government finally fessed up that it had been underfunding the library, giving it a $105,000 grant in 1997 compared to half that amount in 1996. More than 200 people a day enter Whistler's library, adding up to 67,000 visits in 1997, or a 23 per cent increase in traffic from 1996. More than 4,100 of those crossing the library's doorstep were new borrowers. More than just stuff in paper, the library has offered legal seminars on starting a small business, buying and selling a home, and has had author readings by Paul Tennant, Sheree Fitch, Kim Herdman and Doreen Armitage. Even the little ones have been getting the reading bug, with summer reading clubs for pre-schoolers and school-aged children attracting 337.