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ca) Re: Library Funding Arnold Neufeldt-Fast Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @neufast See also http://www.wslibrarypetition.blogspot.ca/
Below is the collection of emails I sent this month to the Mayor and Council, Town of WhitchurchStouffville. Not only has it been a critical month for our town’s library—as documented below—but one in which terrible, long-term decisions regarding the library’s expansion (delayed again) and operating funding/staffing have been made.
January 31, 2013 Dear Mayor and Council, In-Person visits to the town library sky-rocketed 125% between 2007 and 2010. From 2007 to 2010, there was a 36% increase in “active cardholders” at the WS Public Library--up 5,424, or 151 new active cardholders each month for three years (source: Prov. Library Statistics). What did this mean for our staff? The impact was larger than what one might expect (Council could have easily overlooked this): During this same period the number of “in person” visits jumped 125% (from 101,250 to 227,650). This is a leap from 31 “in person” library visits per hour (avg) to 71 (assuming 52 weeks x 62 hrs). That is very significant. During this time the library added its first full position in a decade (from 9.7 to 10.91). In comparison, in 2010 and 2011 the Aurora Public library had about 100 visitors per hour--yet with more than three times the staff (34 vs. 11 FTE) – and a much larger facility . Councillor Bartley noted that he has never seen the library very busy. That is anecdotal; we need to make data-based decisions. The Corporate Efficiency Review, if followed, will make staffing at the WSPL in 2014 and 2015 even leaner (per resident served) than in any of the years above (see my email, Jan 20, 2013 below with annual statistics). Today’s article in the Sun-Tribune praises the efficiency of the library and the hard work of staff. Indeed, every statistic supports it (and I have had nothing but courteous and helpful support from staff). But in the end, there is only so much help that staff can give in a busy library environment. At some point it is disingenuous simply to praise their efficiency, while at the same time passing budgets that have placed
-------------January 29. . It is also an insult to the community to say service is not impacted (my last email to you Jan. The Whitchurch-Stouffville Public ranks in fourth last position of thirty-one comparable communities1 with respect to total reference transactions (incl. new materials budget. Ontario communities grouped by pop: BMA Municipal Study 2011 & Ministry Public Library Statistics. Arnold Neufeldt-Fast PS: I’m planning for this to be my last email to you directly on this topic for a time (though I will welcome a data-based discussion at any time). electronic) per capita. I trust that you will help to find pathways to enable us to have an at-least "average” library (for our sized community) in terms of staffing. The purpose of such a conversation is to clarify the needs of the library patron. reference services are the most visible element of the library. There is no gravy in the library--even though the CRE participants think they have found ways for achieving the same effectiveness and service with an even lower staff/resident ratio than we have today. and to aid him or her in meeting those needs. two neighbouring Durham communities. The Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library Crisis: Reference Services After books. A “reference transaction” is an exchange between a library staff member and a library user. interpretation. 29th [below] documented clearly that the “reference transactions” per capita are very low when compared to our other “comparator” communities). 2013 Dear Mayor and Council. 1 Source: Ministry Public Library Statistics. This can involve the use. or fair. That's not possible. In the weeks ahead. Comparator communities include: all York Region municipalities. and space in the near future. or wise. communities used in the dmA Facility Study for the Town of W-S. recommendation. The correspondence will remain posted online. Sincerely. Reference assistance can be especially helpful in an age of information overload. or instruction in the use of an information source.the WSPL in last place of 30 comparator communities for staffing per residents served.
Thomas 0 Reference Transactions/capita While the average reference transactions per capita in this group of communities is 0. Without a sufficient number of reference librarians. This needs to change. 2013 letter to Town Council [below]. Whitchurch-Stouffville’s transactions per capita (including electronic) are 0. 2 For statistics (and links to sources). Whitchurch-Stouffville’s current staffing and reference-transactions problem will be intensified in 2014 and 2015. or to residents new to community and/or to Canada.5 2 1. the emerging creative class of businesses. does not see this as a problem. . However without per capita funding that is comparable to other Ontario libraries. a community suffers. Yet the ranking is understandable given the high ratio of population served per library staff member in Whitchurch-Stouffville (see next slide). These numbers are troubling.5 1 0.2 when the ratio of staff to residents served will be higher than ever before in WhitchurchStouffville.26. This low ranking is surprising given Whitchurch-Stouffville’s relatively high percentage of active cardholders (52%). the previous two years were even worse: 0.Reference Transactions/capita 2.66/per resident. apparently. there is little that the Library Board and CEO can do remedy the situation. The public library then ceases to be a place for research and exploration--whether for students.11 and 0.17. see my Jan. Town Council. we ask fewer questions and find fewer answers. 20.5 Quinte West Lincoln Newmarket Whitchurch-Stouffville Fort Erie Aurora Georgina Haldiman County County of Prince… Welland Markham Brant County Woodstock Grimsby Orillia Stratford Timmins Cornwall Orangeville East Gwillimbury Pickering Owen Sound & North… Richmond Hill Belleville Vaughan Innisfil Uxbridge King Brockville New Tecumseth St.
Programming and Facilities expenditures per person: up $45.350 to $1. Library per person costs have actually been forced down over this time. Jan 29. while Recreation per person costs have been allowed to mushroom: Recreation. 2013 Jan 28.607). because Council has not allowed each department to grow equally.050. please note that departmental hiring projections should not be cut equally.437. 2013 Dear Mayor and Council. As you identify areas for increased corporate efficiency.892.041.Population served per 1 Staff 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 Whitchurch-Stouffville New Tecumseth Orangeville Quinte West Welland Lincoln Owen Sound & North Grey Haldiman County Georgina Markham Uxbridge Newmarket Timmins Richmond Hill Grimsby Belleville East Gwillimbury Vaughan Fort Erie Brockville Cornwall Aurora Brant County King Woodstock Pickering Innisfil Stratford St.46 between 2006 and 2011 .096 to $7.58 between 2006 and 2011 Library expenditures per person: down $3. Source: W-S Final Budgets) Library expenditures grew only 54% between 2006 to 2011 (from $675. Leisure expenditures grew 285% between 2006 to 2011 (from $2. Thomas Population served per 1 Staff -Arnold Neufeldt-Fast.
$3. online graphic). Facebook. core collection item costs [i. I’ve also posted online this series of January letters to mayorandcouncil@townofws. Facebook etc. Thanks for considering it. How do we get to "at-least-average"? That's a sincere question. When our per person expenditures for new acquisitions are put against 30 comparable communities.93/person vs. Arnold Neufeldt-Fast -------- .scribd.com/doc/122361309/Whitchurch-Stouffville-Library-Funding-Crisis-Correspondencewith-Town-Council-Jan-2013#fullscreen Thanks for giving this your attention. BMA [by pop]. Whitchurch-Stouffville spends less per person on material acquisitions today than in 2006 (=$3.e. I used the 30 comparator communities as recommended in other studies (dmA Management. we are in 26th position (click for convenient. We are not a well-resourced community. FYI. 2007 Municipal Performance Measurement) Between 2010 and 2011. other York Region and two Durham neighbouring communities).) http://www. the cost of new materials] increased 23% (cf.(Source: Town of W-S. Despite soaring costs. for staffing we are in last position (see staffing graphic). see new graphic) Library services have been cut in the name of efficiency for years. Arnold Neufeldt-Fast ---------------------------- Jan 27. Ontario Public Library Statistics [by pop]. also attached) http://www. We’re in last [position re: staffing per pop served]. we are far below average.32 in 2011. 2011 Budget Plan p.. etc.scribd. and this impacts young and old. 2011 Municipal Performance Measurement. 234). and the poor more than the wealthy in town. 2013 Dear Mayor and Council. below is a new chart with the Library Staffing figures I sent to you earlier in the month.com/doc/122427637/Chart-Library-Staffing-per-population-served-Understandingthe-Crisis-in-Whitchurch-Stouffville I hope that this is helpful to understand where we stand when comparing library staffing per residents served. I’ve created and posted the chart online (and also promoted it by Twitter.ca for public review and comment (also promoted via Twitter. CEO comments.
with a plan for achieving at long last "at-leastaverage" library for our great community. by the way. 161: W-S $26/capita. acc. but you hold the purse-strings to make it happen). 133). average: $116 (37% above average) This comparison is crucial for the "corporate efficiency" plan (NB: I realize that Council does not have authority to determine library hiring [that's the board's.Jan 26. That of course limits the ability of the board again this year to fulfill its mandate to the community. and facilities (excluding amortization). 2013 Dear Mayor and Council. 2012 Library. Re Library funding/capita: we are solidly in last place again this year: Quinte West is the next closest in our category at $30. apples to apples? The Mayor said in 2010 he wanted a per capita funding plan for the library. our Town should do too). Arnold Neufeldt-Fast Jan 26. programming. avg for communities our size: $45 (42% below average) Recreation operating costs. to the Public Libraries Act]. Sincerely. p. 133) there were many communities "with us" at around $30 per capita (see earlier email – chart below) How can we work constructively for an "at-least-average" library in our community? Can we have a fair discussion. It would be great if council could take care of that before passing the baton in 2014. prov. 159: W-S $159/capita. Remember: in 2006 (BMA p. How did we get to this crisis in the library's history? In 2006. the following communities were at the low end of library per capita funding in Ontario (BMA Municipal Study 2007. p. p. 2013 Dear Mayor and Council. Chatham-Kent has just put online the new BMA 2012 Municipal Report (something. .
932) -73% .628 residents) $1. or (x 36.628 residents) $1693. In Stouffville during that same period. Compared to the average contribution of other Ontario communities of similar size. Council members on the Library Board emphasized that budget increase in all departments must remain between 2% and 3%.628 residents) $975.250. (base year: 2006.31 (x 37..2010) Barrie Welland Huntsville East Gwillimbury Provincial Average 2006 $29 $29 $30 2010 $34 $35 $23 Difference +17% +21% -23% $30 $30 $31 $32 $36 $32 $34 $40 $38 $44 +7% +13% +29% +18% +22% Library operating funding per capita grew an average of 17.000 ($21 x 36. the same continued to be significantly below the provincial average for per capita library funding (BMA Municipal Study 2011.the 2010 operating budget would have been $32. also Town of WS 2006. [ New: Situation for 2011] Actual WSP Library operating funding per person If WSP Library operating budget increased 2..39) Difference 2011 $25. p. 153 [see also NEW 2012]) Community Timmins Chatham-Kent Whitchurch-Stouffville (cf.5% per person per year .43 per person.628 residents) $19 (x 37. avg. Library operating funding per capita dropped 23%.93 (x 37.754 $7.000 residents) about $325. for comparable sized communities (BMA 2012 p161) Difference $45 (x 37.000 more than was the case. If Whitchurch-Stouffville Town Council had allowed the Library Board to increase its operating budget 2.000 residents).260 ($714.628 residents) ($275.In 2010.5% in six comparator communities and 22% provincially between 2006 and 2010.694 $33.5% annually per capita -. $29. Annually during this period. the shortfall in 2010 was $756.24 ( x 37.061) -22% If WSP Library operating budget was at prov.as is the practice in almost every other Ontario community --.
The entire community is impacted by this crisis: no quiet study space. not built [for 2001 or for population] growth. Council plans for expansion design in 2008. There is still more to say. The provincial public library statistics are another. Staff/resident ratio is "apple to apple" if and when compared to communities our size with only one library.. We can compare ourselves on staff and new materials to other York Region and neighbouring Durham Region communities. no appropriate archival space (loss of Art Latcham Magic Collection [see below]). Capital budget is a different. book clubs using reciprocal relationships with other libraries to get their books. archivist. lack of specialists for children's literacy. Mayor Wayne Emmerson (YouTube) noted in a 2010 election speech that he had proposed a per capita funding plan for the library. as Mr.. we have a well-documented library crisis at the operation funding level.. New materials budget is also a good comparator. we did not have to be at this place--and there is blame to go around.This documents what has happened to library funding in Whitchurch-Stouffville since 2006. many holds on popular items . This is reflected in the staff per resident ratio (which has dropped dramatically over the same period--I have documented this in an earlier email) and in the materials budget (also documented in a previous email). interviews with press) Today. The Town's consultant recommends 0. Is this still of no concern to the Mayor and to the would-be mayoral candidates? What are we as a community to do? Asked with the greatest sincerity. which is also well-documented. Where do we even come close to average? We simply don't. BMA Municipal Studies are only one source. 2007 Budget/Capital Forecast. Staff ratios and materials for the dmA Consultant's comparator communities can found in the provincial library statistics. construction 2009 (cf.858 sq ft). Pourvahidi had said to me.65 = 14. plans for expansion are pushed off until .121 sq ft. recommendation) 2001 facility: 13.65 sq ft per capita (less than the prov. There has been no evidence to suggest that these comparisons are not "apple to apple" comparisons.. and there is plenty of blame to go around. Arnold Neufeldt-Fast . adult literature." We did not have to be at this place. but it was rejected by his fellow council members "to cut their budget. 2016 and 2017? Again. etc.859 x 0. etc. [actual] (2001 pop 22. but related problem. High School students studying in Markham for better resources. In the end however.
"Talk of the Town: Is There a 'Handy' Solution to the Library Crisis?.ly/VVHXZ6 .. [’07 http://bit. Nicely summed up by John Relph. . July 2011: http://www.. It's been said many times.Jan.2 & 8] '08 http://bit. I hope one of the papers investigates: News (today) Carleton University acquires Whitchurch-Stouffville's Magic Collection: http://fb.ly/SOE3lX '11 http://bit. for those who have ears to hear.com/opinion/letters/article/1046416--library-funding-not-keepingpace-with-growing-town Arnold Neufeldt-Fast Jan.ly/W5ym3K '09 http://bit.ly/WluLhD Town Council and Library Funding (see link). lots to look at.ly/SOE3lX '10 http://bit. 2011. 25. Here are just two examples: Ben Embiricos.yorkregion.. Sun-Tribune) The story [see next email below – loss of Art Latcham Magic Collection] will need to be welldocumented. and the Library Minutes are helpful in this regard.2 "Collection is deteriorating & Library does not have appropriate storage facility" http://bit. This is just another casualty of Council's vision for the Library. #10. 8. Stouffville tradition: Library budget bullying: Library Board Minutes .me/U1wk1Uqw Library Board Minutes. p." Stouffville Free Press.. an important legacy lost. that no one but me had ever said there was a crisis at the library. I was told at the Council meeting. 25.see items 6. former [Library Board] chair. Sun-Tribune) An important story. 2013 Dear Mayor and Council (cc: Free Press. 2013 Dear Mayor and Council (cc: Free Press.ly/VnWm3S '12 . June 2012. Aug.
Arnold Neufeldt-Fast January 23. Sincerely. and have done so since at least June 2011. Arnold Neufeldt-Fast Jan. 23. etc. they are in the library public binder) Town of W-S Agenda Packets. incl. 2011. Kate Gilderdale responded this morning. FAQs dmA Facilities Report to Town of WS SOLS documents [Staffing. Almost all are readily available online WSP Library Board Minutes (not agenda packets. Staffing Projections 2010-2015. I was curious about your question regarding my sources. 2013 Dear Mayor and Council. and should be taken into account when making cuts. With regard to information from Staff. This staffing study continues to be important. Sandra Bolan. 2013 Dear Mayor and Council. Minutes. it is an uneasy story. but highlights how critical the library is for new residents who are not otherwise finding Stouffville welcoming. "Giant Book Sale now paying for library essentials. Last night after the meeting I penned a letter to the editor of the Free Press (see below). you may recall the Operational Staffing Study. Facilities] (which typically give reference to further materials) etc. BMA Municipal Reports Ministry Library Statistics Sun-Tribune Archive Public Library Act. 2010 (which also gives a summary of the 2009 SWOT Analysis. I review the binder monthly. Thanks." Stouffville Sun-Tribune. and plans to run it in the February issue of the Free Press FYI.) That was available in hard copy at the Library together with the hard-copies of minutes and agenda. there is an important story by Pep Philpott in tomorrow's Sun-Tribune. Capital Budgets. March 25. Dec. I took out my smartphone and photographed more than a dozen important pages. . When I stumbled across that study and the SWOT analysis.
How do we compare with other communities our size in Ontario? With respect to per capita funding. If council acts on the latest recommendations. Arnold Neufeldt-Fast --------------Letter to the Editor: Library services are critical for a vibrant community. and give students of all ages the tools and skills needed to explore. More residents need to tell council immediately that an “average”library is the least we expect from our municipal tax dollars. There are provincial guidelines for the size of libraries. Literacy opens up new worlds for children. We are now 44% below that peer group average. In the meantime funding for parks. In January. Librarians spark the imagination of young minds. This lack of appreciation as demonstrated in annual budgets since 2007 is affecting all of us. the first new full-time position in a decade was added in 2011.” where new residents (some of whom are also new to Canada) find information and new connections in the larger community.” The recommendations are terrible for our library. In Whitchurch-Stouffville. There are provincial guidelines for staffing.Sincerely. This is not surprising: our per capita library funding has fallen 12% since 2006. And with respect to staffing. . If Council acts on the recently received recommendations. we have been in last position and dropping for a number of years. I would like to add a few comments for your consideration in today's budget deliberations. the library has been a huge blind spot for many years. Today we should have 21 full-time staff. Arnold Neufeldt-Fast Dear Mayor and Council. research and create. Now we learn that money is still tight. the worst years for our library are still to come—even beyond the mandate of this Council. The library’s many functions are important to recognize and to protect. 2014 and 2015 will be the worst years our library has ever seen with respect to staffing per residents served. but there is money for only 11. Despite a boom in our population. consultants presented Town Council with a “corporate efficiency review. and expansion will likely not happen until 2017. While the Mayor and Council have done so many fine things for our community. the library is also the town’s “commons. recreation and recreation facilities has increased by 38%--far above the provincial average. “There is a feeling that Town Council may not be fully appreciating the services provided by the library. we are solidly in last place.” This is the very last line in January’s 76 page Corporate Efficiency Review report. Council first planned for library expansion to take place in 2009. This was postponed many times.
at least 65.000 sq/ft. and in since 2007 (at the latest). * There are Ministry guidelines." the library has -. Pourvahidi is wise in reminding Council of the Municipal Act and The Debt Capacity Limit. if accepted. cited here 1:2000. with only one library. It does however track matters very carefully for library services because this is essential for Canadian communities. in the name of "efficiencies. rinks etc. a rink or a ballpark (though with recreation we far exceed provincial averages in dollars spent per capita). -Arnold Neufeldt-Fast January 21. will make staffing at the WSPL in 2014 and 2015 even leaner. not 13. which you have disregarded (1 staff per 2000 residents served). acting as if the library is like a pool. * There are "apple to apple" comparisons with communities our size. it will take any future council a decade to address. facilities: cited here . This council has long neglected the latter guidelines.000 [actual]) These provincial guidelines are there to protect citizens from negligent municipal governing bodies. however. year by year-. Is this your agenda? The deficit in library service in W-S is already so large. we are solidly in last place. 2013 Dear Council. what I find unbelievable. Your plan reaches into the next council's mandate to ensure that the library enters it's worst year to-date in 2015. remind you of the Public Libraries Act and the respective provincial guidelines regarding staffing and space (staffing: Ontario Public Libraries. Of course you need to follow the Municipal Act. The Ontario Ministry of Tourism. dmA Management Consultants to the Town of W-S. no attempt has been made to approach that target. The neglect of staffing and facilities has been so overwhelming.slowly.Regarding the Special Council Meeting 2pm: Mr. The BMA Reports. App. is that the CER plan. that the provincial averages seem fanciful. In light of the above. 4th ed. If the CER plan is accepted on Tuesday evening. where the average is just shy of the provincial standard. Culture and Sport does not regulate the numbers of pools. nor provide guidelines for minimum staffing and facility size.lost staff per/capita (see stats below). you will have inflicted a final indignity on the library. He does not. For a long time. B. become a beggard (see former Chair John Relph's . the provincial Library statistics for towns our size. but the province has guidelines for informing the interpretation of the Public Libraries Act as well to protect citizens from negligent councils. or all other York Region or neighbouring Durham Region community libraries > of all 30 possible comparison town/libraries. These provide important guidelines and limits to protect citizens from negligent municipal governing bodies.
The legacy is almost complete--and will reach well into the future. as the Mayor likes to say (a search of the Library's online newspaper index brings up more than a few examples).depiction in Sun-Tribune. pop) or 2. 2013 Dear Mayor and Council. I've traced staffing back to the early 1990s (see stats below) to give the snapshot.65 sq/ft per capita for that day).000 pop (actual prov. That has something to do with Macleans' "Smart City" evaluation of our town. But this second to last budget also seals the Mayor's statement on the library--undeniable after many. Below are the calculations of staff per 10.30 FTE per 10. 2006).72) 2009: 9. -Arnold Neufeldt-Fast Jan 20.000 (pop) or approx.000 pop. or 5 FTE for 10.000 residents served.300 (pop) or 2.7 FTE per 10. again and again. Thank you for considering new staff for the library by 2016.000 pop 2001: 9. many years in office (despite the new building in 2001--which was not even 0.7 FTE/ 34.1 FTE/18. But even the short-range infliction is brutal.550 (est. . We have long become the most efficient library in the province.91 FTE/34.12 FTE per 10. July 2011). 4.859 (pop) or 4. easiest way of comparing with other communities) has become a target.45 FTE per 10.20 FTE per 10.7 + 1 CER recomm'd)/44. average: 4.642 (pop) or 4. And now one final indignity? There is still an opportunity for change. I was a little taken by the comparison to the movie (and sequel!). library staffing per capita (the surest sign of library health.000 (pop) or 3. and Jim Mason wrote a piece entitled: "Wayne's World: The Sequel" (Nov 16. But since 1994.000 pop 2014: 11.000 pop 1998: 8.89 FTE per 10.000 pop.62 FTE per 10. I've examined the Corporate Efficiency Review. And that is great. your budgets have ensured that. If CER recommendations are followed on Tuesday.91 FTE/ 30.000 pop 2008: 9.7 FTE (10.000 pop 2010: 10. hoping it was a joke. the 2006 election took place.61 FTE/22. Shortly after I arrived in Stouffville. 2014 and 2015 will be the worst years to date for library staffing at the Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library: 1988: 8 FTE/17. Please note that the provincial ministry guidelines (2009) are 1 staff per 2000 residents served. There is much that has been built that is "state of the art" or "top notch" in Whitchurch-Stouffville.300 (pop) or 3.
or 1:2000). It is striking to see that staffing in years 2014 and 2015 will be worse than today. Please consider the library this week.operting costs per person: $29. facilities per person: $188. 2006 Library Services . and even worse than in the crisis year of 2010 / 2011.2015: 11.0/10. The direction set from the mid-1990s is startling. In 2011 council finally approved the first new full position in a decade (and did so reluctantly. .65) Total for parks. pop) or 2. library stats). and only by flat-lining materials at 2010 levels.5%. Please consider changes in the recommendations. (Does that assume library expansion as late as 2016?) With a minimum estimated population of 47. The staffing recommendations are shocking -. staffing levels will be 3. Arnold Neufeldt-Fast Dear Mayor and Council. average (4. from 2006: $10. Municipal Performance Measurement Program reports are helpful for perspective/trends showing what has occurred in your two-terms of office: 2011 vs.93 (down 12%. York Region communities. Please let me know if I have misunderstood -. from 2006: $29. Encouragement: leave a balanced legacy.7 FTE/45.operating costs per person: $25. recreation and rec.operating costs per person: $133.000 pop. from 2006: $14. While this is a significant increase over 2015.59 (up 13. or neighbouring communities).operating costs per person: $25. Our spending on Library is far below the provincial averages and all of our neighbouring communities.82) Recreation facilities .750 (est. Currently. staffing and space). it is worse than in 2008. the CER recommends hiring 3.91 (up 32%. and cutting back part-time hours).000.86) Recreation programs .but my reading of the recommendations is that Council is prepared to inflict further cuts to a library already ranked last provincially with respect to staffing (i.56 FTE per 10. Please remember: the citizens of Whitchurch-Stouffville are looking for a plan that gets us to a "average" library in the near future (in terms of materials. and no progress over against the prov.72) and ministry guidelines (5. Town of W-S.000.25 FTE per 10. or to other York Region towns and cities..as is the assumption (??) of such a late facility expansion date. from 2006: $143.33) Our spending on Recreation exceeds by far the provincial averages.000 pop. Whitchurch-Stouffville is in absolute last position for staff per population served. In 2016. when compared to neighbouring communities.46 (up 171%.39) Parks .87 (up 75%.e. by similar population (prov. or to the communities identified in the recent library facilities report (dmA). or to communities of like size (BMA Reports). when compared to any of the 30 communities in the BMA list.43 staff. from 2006: $117.
which. The mayor gave his word last January about expansion 2014 ("as long housing stays strong"). Arnold N-F January 16. But library patrons (more than half of our community) appear to be set for more short-term bad news.66.93. repeated by many households in our community. avg BMA 2011). Please remember when looking for efficiencies and planning for 2013-14: Staffing: Library Staffing FTE 2001: 9. 29). MPMP. or $32 above prov.93 (Town of W-S. today 48% below the prov.33 (Town of W-S. . 2007). Parks & Rec soars 38% to $188. federal funding and private donations are wonderful. BMA 2011) Parks/Rec/Facilities spending however has been and is well above the prov average (2010: $143.41/capita since 1998! Staffing. for comparable communities ($44. Operating Costs Library Services operating costs per person: 2006: $29. as I mentioned earlier has only gone up $0. 2011: $188. MPMP. MPMP. Capital has been pressing for years (see 2007 Five Year Budget Forecast. per person operating costs drop 12% to $25. the per capita library is lower today than in 2006 (even in 2000 it was over $31). is even more pressing.Anecdotal: You may or may not use the library regularly. This relates to new materials budget.91 (2001 close to recommended prov avg of 1:2000 pop) Compare with Parks and Facility F/T staffing: 9 new FTEs over past five years alone (2007: 14. 2011) Compare parks. MPMP. 2007). Despite a spike in the cost of materials in past years. 2013 Dear Mayor and Council. is not abnormal: 1 hold (me) 4 holds (my daughter) My wife travelled to Markham to get a book for her book club. It's clearly another year for sports.91 (Town of W-S. p. 2011: $25. Let's finish strong. but in our household the following example from last week. 2011) Stouffville Library neglect? Since 2006. recreation and facilities operating per person: 2006: $143. There is still a chance for a change of heart. as you know.91. 2011: 23). avg. more than a decade later: 10.39 (Town of W-S.
follow: @neufast) to draw attention to the material. Arnold Neufeldt-Fast January 8. Since I first spoke before Council a few years ago. Perhaps what I chronicle in the attached article will sway some on Council to think differently about the state of the library and about what might still be done in this term of office. . it would be dignified. In the next days and weeks I will use social media (Twitter search term: "Stouffville".If the goal is to keep tax increases to a minimum and to stand pat or keep to a holding pattern.46. to say as much. per capita increases in parks/rec by $45. Stouffville Connects has the right web-design for good community discussion. I quote Mr.StouffvilleConnects. I am glad that Mr. In one area you aimed to be above average -. Hargrave supports this as well. as I am doing with the other articles. Those are decisions our town will live with. if this is indeed the equation with which your council wishes to retire. The Free Press is interested in receiving another article from me to be submitted on Jan 22 (after the Special Budget Meeting) for February publication.at the expense of letting another area wither to well-below average). Now we need two more. If accepted. this document summarizes best the ways in which I will ensure that the library becomes the issue to which each must give account. so I have also cc'd him on this email (no ill-will. Pourvahidi in the article.with new materials and many supporting links regarding library funding and expansion..g. But by 2011 there were already large and multiple signs that the library--a central community pillar--was in serious difficulty. Thanks for considering the library as part of your legacy. I still hold to the mayor's word last January: library planning in 2013 and building in 2014 as long as housing stays strong. I've submitted another item to the press (attached) --this time to www. please be honest with residents and confess that this was possible only on the back of the library (e. but a decline in library per capita by $3. and required immediate and focused budgetattention. This being said.com (online)-.58 in your term of office. It is about the legacy of this Council. I was convinced (as I am today) that you have done very well in many areas. but your quote in the Sun-Tribune in July 2011 is important for the story!). In the article I document library funding decisions made since 2006 and their consequences for our community. 2013 Dear Mayor and Council. For those considering re-election in 2014. however. I have already sent the Library CEO and Board Chairs (past and present) a copy.
and for the good of the residents Whitchurch-Stouffville. a further $250. The mayor was clearly moved by the little boy's request.blogspot.ca/ --which I have gladly done!) Dear Mayor and Council. As you can expect.000 is budgeted for Library Expansion design. But when I get good answers. But the high school students? After the delegation at that council meeting I spoke with the book-ish Shagun Jindal in the foyer. $600. One year later. materials and space. 2011 Council Meeting when the little boy asked for another skate-board park (and the Mayor's Youth Council reported as well). I was at the Oct. with sincerity. Agreeing to disagree. mayor and council (I have the emails to prove it). Arnold Neufeldt-Fast (PS: Some book club members have encouraged me revive the petition site: http://wslibrarypetition. that if the .000 fundraising campaign. I will emphasize the desperate need for change. I hope I'm gracious as well. Please remember. It's great that the mayor's heart goes out for sports-requests/ projects like this. and that we could count on a library expansion in 2014. and went on record to praise the budget. as approved by Councillors Hargrave and Bartley as well. and she noted how she travels to the Angus Glen Library (25 min) to do her projects (she is also interviewed and quoted in Kim Zarzour's library article in the Sun-Tribune in Feb). I had brought 400plus signatures to council. (I have and will say good things about your tenure too!). I will be tenacious. I have read the 2013 Budget Guidelines & Approval Timetable . Especially for those seeking re-election. Please remember that in the 2012 Capital Budget forecast (p. 235). I was at the Library Board Meetings a year ago when Ms. I told people what I heard ("as long as the housing market doesn't slow"). staffing. however.Time has passed. Postponement of the expansion design and scuttling the expansion until after the next election will surely bring further delays. ball park etc. Hilton strategically navigated the budget process to inch up the low per capita spending. the planning for the skateboard park is in high-gear: After a $175. arena. I will tell this story loudly--not to embarrass--but to highlight the priorities and guiding vision of these years in office. I was at the January 2012 Council meeting when the 2012 budget was passed and heard the words of the mayor re: the library expansion for 2014. and keep the expansion plans for 2013-14.000 will be found in the budget to fulfill the dream of the skateboarders. 25. and I am disappointed and surprised that nothing was done to seriously address the yawning. growing gap between our library and the provincial (or dmA or BMA or regional or neighbouring) averages with respect to operating funding. After six years I now know and can accept that mayor and council do not get excited about the library in the same way as for a skateboard park.
Shagun's experience). Since members of this council have been promising the expansion since the 2007 Capital Forecast (also promised in Sun-Tribune. Ferdinands's comments. that means that the kids starting high school next fall will go through their entire high school career without an adequate public library (i. 2007 article. Feb 1. I'd be happy to discuss this with any of you. Sincerely. I've sent the following letter to the editor in response to Mr. 2013] Whitchurch-Stouffville Town Councillor Ken Ferdinands wants to “stand pat” and put-off library expansion until after this council’s term is completed.ca/ January 4. My sources are referenced at the bottom of the letter. Practically. 2013 Dear Council and Mayor. the library expansion is dead in this council's mandate. Sincerely. if the library is not constructed before the next municipal election it is clear that the issue has not been money or respect for the taxpayer. That will require pre-approval in Dec to get the design process completed in time for expansion in 2014.” January 3. He is also satisfied to keep library operating expenditures in check with “a long overdue” reciprocal borrowing agreement with Newmarket.e. Though the library is not a passion for council. I'd like to encourage you to stick with the plan for library expansion and "average" per capita library funding.. I read the comments by Councillor Ferdinands in the Sun-Tribune last night. and would like to ask you to reconsider the importance of robust library operating funding. Arnold Neufeldt-Fast W-S Library Petition Blog: http://wslibrarypetition. as well as an expansion in 2014. 2013 [published Jan 24.” . and as recorded in Library Board Minutes beginning in 2007: here's one example). but the fruit of a particular set of priorities (or vision). I choose to take you at your word: library expansion planning in 2013 and building in 2014. Best wishes for the new year. Please let me know if I have misunderstood your intentions or if they have changed for some reason.Library planning and building does not happen for 2013/14. the “only library left to forge a similar agreement with Whitchurch-Stouffville is Aurora.blogspot. Arnold Neufeldt-Fast ---Re: “Stouffville council ready to ‘stand pat’.
It is understandable that Councillor Ferdinands’s rural ward would appreciate a reciprocal library agreement with Aurora. I would encourage Aurora to refuse a reciprocal agreement with our town until our Council endorses a plan to increase per capita library to the provincial average for communities our size by 2015.ca/ . This makes a difference in staffing. pp. Aurora has space to spare as well. equipment.83 square feet per resident.greatersudbury.shtml For one comparison.ca/content/dept_cfo/documents/Greater_Sudbury_full_report. library expansion is one of the largest and critical missing pieces of that puzzle. that translates to 10. I use the most recent BMA Municipal Report (published every Spring): http://www. A better resourced library—funding. Stouffville --Most of the figures are from the most recent Ontario Public Library Statistics (published every Fall): http://www. Arguably. I would also encourage Council to ensure that they leave office knowing they have built a balanced community over their tenure. $28. Communities without an "average" library in these regards have difficulty attracting "the creative class" and their businesses. Ours per active cardholder is 9. ours has less than half that space (0. Both Aurora and Whitchurch-Stouffville built new libraries in 2001.on. The need to expand in Whitchurch-Stouffville has been urgent for years. Council has “stood pat” with library operating and capital funding long enough that it can be properly labelled “neglect”—an unfortunate legacy for a Council that has done well in so many other areas over two terms.41 square feet per resident). it has 92% more computer workstations (46 to 24). -Arnold Neufeldt-Fast. staffing.8 to 10. to date.74 items per year. Aurora’s has 0. and materials.This begs the question: Why have neighbouring municipalities like Newmarket and Aurora been hesitant to forge reciprocal agreements with us? The reasons are obvious: Aurora’s total library operating expenditure per resident is almost double ours: $55 vs. Aurora’s is 20. WhitchurchStouffville is solidly in last place. 152f. full-time staff (33. space—results in higher circulation. Though we have a large rural population.ca/en/libraries/statistics.mtc.gov. [update: BMA 2012 here] The sq.ft/resident calculation is based on the 2011 Stats Canada population figures For earlier press items and information. For our own good.91). over 400 residents petitioned Council for such a plan in September 2011.34.000 fewer items available for download in Whitchurch-Stouffville. it has three times the total paid.51 per person on new materials (we spend $3. The average of our nine neighbouring municipalities is $44. And compared to libraries in sixteen Ontario communities our size.blogspot. materials. equipment. Aurora subscribes to 34 electronic databases compared to our 27. and it spends $6.pdf .33). While Aurora’s population is 51% greater than ours. please visit the original “petition” site: http://wslibrarypetition.