Over the next year the Whistler Public Library will see its collection of books, CDs, audiobooks, and DVDs increase by 50 per cent, thanks to a one-time capital reserve expense of $190,000 made as part of the library’s move to a new facility in January.
According to Library director Lauren Stara, about half that money is spent at this point.
“It’s going to take us another year, because we have our whole operating collection budget to spend also,” she said. “Spending the money has been really fun, and watching our collection grown, but there’s a lot of work that has to be done between receiving a book and getting it on the shelf. There’s a room full of new stuff we don’t have on the shelves yet, and new stuff is coming in all the time.”
Entering library materials into the Whistler Library catalogue is a little more difficult than in the past, as each book, CD and DVD now has a radio tag for the self-service checkout. All books also have to be entered into the library database for online searches and reservations.
The expansion of the library collection is being overseen by youth services librarian Jomichele Seidl, who has consulted with children and local teens about what they’d like to see at the library, and by public services librarian Nadine White.
“We do have a collection development policy, where we’ve gone through our collection and taken a look at where we’re lacking and filling in the gaps,” said Stara. “With this money we can really flush those areas out, while building specific collections. (For example) we’re looking at our French language collection, our audio book collection, and the new sustainability collection.”
Years of use can also be hard on a library’s collection, and Stara says some of the money will be spent completing series of books where one or more volumes has been damaged or has gone missing.
New items, will be put out on the shelves as soon as they’re tagged and entered into the database, and Stara suggests that members of the public drop by frequently for new items over the next year.
Nadine White says the library is always open to suggestions from the public about how to expand and improve the collection.
“We’re always open to ideas from the public when it comes to our collection,” she said. “It’s a community resource, and we want to have books and things that the community will use.
“For example, we ordered a lot of DVDs and CDs in one order and those collections are doubling. For books it’s a bit harder to quantify because there’s fiction and non-fiction, and some books are destined for children or teens, or reference, but we have ordered a lot of new books and series from popular authors.
“There’s so much coming in that’s it’s going to be hard keeping up with the cataloguing.”
Although exact numbers aren’t available, Stara says it appears that the number of people visiting the library on a daily basis has tripled since the new facility opened six weeks ago.
“It’s so busy, but it’s been great,” she said, adding that the library now plans to add more study carrels and work space. “We’re seeing a huge increase in visitors and it’s wonderful.”