Petition: Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library Needs Our Support Now!

Purpose: Proposal: More info: To raise awareness of the library’s significant material, space, and staffing needs, and lack of sustainable funding (CEO’s “key issues” in 2011 Budget Plan) That W-S Town Council increase per person library funding to the provincial average by 2015, and begin immediately to develop plans for library expansion. ;

Library Materials:  In 2007, the library held 4.73 titles per person. In 2011, down to 2.64 titles per person  In 2009, the library held 87,558 titles; provincially the average for municipalities our size was 143,500 titles.  In 2011, Library Board forced to flat-line material purchases at 2010 levels in order to get much needed extra staff person; core material costs rise 23% over 2010 Library Facility/Space  Current facility: 13,121 square feet, built in 2001 (town pop: 22,859). Today's population is 38,650.  Provincial guidelines: 65,625 sq. ft minimum for a central, stand-alone library building in Ontario, serving between 35,000 and 75,000 residents (5x larger than current library = size of new Canadian Tire Store with Garden Centre!)  Expansion plans have been postponed from 2009, to 2014 and now past the four year term of present council. Library Staffing  In 2011, first new full-time position created in over a decade, but only at the cost of flat-lining material acquisitions at 2010 levels and cutting part-time hours.  2001 (pop. 22,859): 9.61 staff (full-time equivalent); library visitors in person: 100,150; circulation: 116,166  2009 (pop. 34,300; up 50% from '01): 9.91 staff (up only 3% from '01); library visitors in person: 173,300 (2008; up 73%; '09 stats not available); circulation: 183,915 (up 58% from '01)  Provincial guidelines: 1 staff per 2000 residents. Translated: 19 library staff (FTE) for W-S's current pop. of 38,650. In 2011, the Library could finally hire a 10th staff (FTE). Library Funding  Library portion of Town's operating expenses dropped from 5.1% in 2004 to 3% in 2007 and to an historic low of 2% in 2011.  Between 2009 and 2010, per capita library expenditures fell 8%, from $25.43 to $23.44. Recreation programming & facilities increased 34%, from $127 to $170.33  Between 2006 and 2010, per person expenditures for the library declined from $29.39 to $23.44. In 2009, W-S library funding was 43% below the provincial average for communities of similar size (2010 BMA, p. 124). In contrast, W-S's recreation programming and facilities funding has averaged 11% above the provincial average.

Library Petition: We, residents of Whitchurch-Stouffville, petition Town Council to develop and approve a plan to increase per person library funding to the provincial average by 2015, and to begin immediately to develop plans for a library expansion.
Presentation of Petition: Whitchurch-Stouffville Town Council Mtg, Tue, Sept 20, 2011, 3 pm Petition Coordinator: Dr. Arnold Neufeldt-Fast (PhD); Invite others to sign the petition online: