“I read with interest the article (Trail addresses politics of the public library, Trail Times, Nov. 22) regarding politics and the library in Trail and would like to offer some comments,” writes Barbara Gibson.

“I read with interest the article (Trail addresses politics of the public library, Trail Times, Nov. 22) regarding politics and the library in Trail and would like to offer some comments,” writes Barbara Gibson.

Library Board should operate without political interference

“There should be no “blurred lines of accountability” if both partners understand the Library Act.”

I read with interest the article (Trail addresses politics of the public library, Trail Times, Nov. 22) regarding politics and the library in Trail and would like to offer some comments.

Library boards were established so that library operations would be governed by a Board, dedicated to providing the best library services. This Board operates independently of municipal councils whose outlook and priorities change as different people are elected. This allows the Library Board to provide the highest level of service given municipal funding levels and without political interference. The Library Act clearly outlines the duties of the Library Board and the municipality, the municipality provides the funds and the Board administers the Library.

There should be no “blurred lines of accountability” if both partners understand the Library Act. I agree that libraries are underfunded by the provincial government but until that changes the municipality is the major financial support.

With respect to the BC One Card concerns, this service was implemented at the provincial government level. The program implementation did not increase the costs of operating the library, as there was no increase in staffing to process item check in and out. The funds from BC One support the operation that benefits the citizens of Trail. The BC One Card feature also means that with the new Library location more visitors will be drawn through the downtown core.

The volunteer Library Board works very hard providing guidance and support to the Library Director, ensuring that budgets are met, and writing and re-writing policy. The additional load of preparing for the move was anticipated by the Board and in the fall of 2016 I requested, as the Chair, that the number of board members be increased due to the move and the fact that several board members would be reaching the end of their term in a year or two. Council declined to do so and is now expressing concern about the sustainability of the Board.

It is imperative that library boards operate the Library without political interference. Mayor Mike Martin rather disingenuously states that council is not setting out to dissolve the library board when it is impossible for them to do so without passing a by-law and going to the electorate for approval.

This whole discussion is not about money or the need for changes to Board roles, it is about the desire of council and the administration to control library operations and staff which is in total opposition to the Library Act. Council wanted the wow factor library/museum and now they seem surprised to find out that the wow factor is going to cost.

I am sure that the Library Board will provide the best possible service for the dollars allocated to them by council. The quality of YOUR library depends on the financial support provided by YOUR Council.

Barbara Gibson

Trail

Just Posted

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Most Read