The Cochrane Public Library has plenty to celebrate of late.
First, the provincial budget that was tabled last week contained welcome news for libraries with an increase in grant funding. Library Director, Monique Fiedler-Sills says, “All public libraries throughout the province received an increase from the government. It is based on a per-capita calculation from 2019. So, with how fast Cochrane is growing, we were really excited to see the increase. And it has resulted in a fairly significant increase for us to the tune of about $33,000.”
Fiedler-Sills says the increase in grant funding will go a long way in helping with their budget, particularly with the new library fee and fine-free model. Fiedler-Sills says, “We went fee and fine-free this year which is huge for us. We want every person in the community to have access to our space and services but in order to make that happen we crafted a pretty tight budget. So, this is incredibly welcome news and provides us with tons of flexibility we need to better meet community needs moving forward.”
Second, the Cochrane Public Library was one of nine recipients of the FCSS Advisory Board & United Way 2023 Partnership Grant and will receive a $3000 cheque from that. Using feedback from their patron’s satisfaction survey, in November, the library heard that people are looking for youth programming. Fiedler- Sills says, “This is not the first time we have heard that there is a real need for youth programming that is free in the community. So, we thought about what the library could offer, and we approached FCSS and United Way to see if they would support a teen’s after-hours program, two times a month on Fridays, and they supported us.” The library is hoping to launch the teen program sometime in the spring. Fiedler-Sills says, “I can’t wait to get it started.”
The Cochrane Public Library provides many programs and services for the community including a free speaker series. An installment coming up on Saturday, March 11 from 2-3 p.m. entitled "A Conversation with Uzoma Uponi." a gifted storyteller with a debut novel entitled ColourBLIND.
You are asked to register for the free event.