Okanagan Regional Library gives the nod to 2017 budget

The 2017 financial plan includes a 1.98 per cent hike to the budget.

Okanagan Regional Library has branches from Golden to Princeton and Osoyoos.

More resources are going into local libraries.

On Wednesday, the Okanagan Regional Library board approved its 2017 financial plan, including  a 1.98 per cent hike to the budget.

“If the budget is less than two per cent, I go ‘Yay,’” said Catherine Lord, board chairperson.

There’s an overall net increase of $362,346 or total expenditures of $18,691,342.

The tax impact will vary among ORL’s 25 member jurisdictions, with a community’s contribution based half on population and half on assessments.

Lord describes the document as a cost of living budget that allows ORL to maintain its services while preparing for the future.

“There’s an almost two per cent increase in union contracts and there’s staff training,” she said.

Much of the training focus is expanded technology within the library branches.

“The services are more varied than they used to be,” said Lord.

Besides the budget, board members and administration also tackled the agency’s strategic planning process.

Lord believes the process is allowing staff to become more involved in the library.

“The while tenure of the library has changed. The culture of the staff has changed,” she said.

“All of the staff are feeling more empowered and they can come forward with recommendations.”