The Fort Saskatchewan Public Library is asking for $50,000 after council cut funding in their recent budget deliberations.
Library director Michele Feser approached council with the request at the December 28 meeting.
"Just like the City of Fort Saskatchewan has added salaries to meet the growth demand of this city, so to, has the library experienced an increased growth and this $50,000 is needed to keep up with the demand and to increase our staffing hours, as well as support an Early Literacy Librarian," said Feser.
On behalf of the library board, Feser let council know that they were disappointed with the reduction of their 2018 budget request and asked council too reconsider.
"This is not the right time to cutback funding for our library. It is growing exponentially in the areas of programming, patron visits, circulation of materials and e-resources. Our numbers speak for themselves. Our goal is not to maintain the status go but to meet the literacy needs of a growing and thriving community," stated Feser at the meeting.
"I appreciate that the library board came back to ask for the additional money back in their budget. This year, we've had major cuts to the budget and unfortunately everybody is feeling it," said mayor Gale Katchur.
Katchur noted anything is possible until the final motion is passed at the December 12 council meeting.
Feser provided council statistics verifying that the library is growing.
Circuation numbers from January to September 2017 total 206,330, a 20 per cent increase from 2016. New and renewed library cards during that same period total 3,260, which is a four per cent increase from 2016. Gate count is sitting at 134,325, a 20 per cent increase from last year.
In October the library launched a year-long card campaign that has already put more than 1,300 new and renewed library cards in the hands of residents.