Local libraries get cash to help share resources

Red Deer Public Library and Central Alberta’s regional library system will benefit in different ways from a $25,000 provincial grant.

Red Deer Public Library and Central Alberta’s regional library system will benefit in different ways from a $25,000 provincial grant.

Alberta Municipal Affairs announced on Thursday that it was giving a one-time $400,000 grant to help public libraries with the costs of sharing resources. The grant was made available with funds from the 2012-13 fiscal budget.

The public library will use its money for technology.

Library director Dean Frey said it will help build their network, but he’s not sure exactly where the money will go at this point.

Frey said the dollars isn’t unexpected, but is very much welcomed.

“It’s a real area of need for public libraries to continue to invest in technology,” said Frey. “It’s nice to get good news. These are small amounts (of money) but they mean a fair amount to us.”

Ron Sheppard, director of Parkland Regional Library System based in Lacombe, said they are on the verge of many new opportunities to expand library service in Alberta.

The grant will help cover costs as they share resources with colleagues and library users in other communities across the province, he said in a news release.

Meredith Bratland, communications co-ordinator for Parkland, said they have an extensive computer system so that people are able to get a book from Camrose to Didsbury, for example. Right now, the sharing occurs within the Parkland region only.

“With this money, all of our libraries will be able to link together for the ultimate goal of having that resource sharing over the whole province and not just in the system,” said Bratland. “There’s so much out there and if people can get it, then it’s wonderful.”

The regional system has a current service which allows books to be shipped out by post, so this is great for someone lives in a rural area outside town, Bratland added.

The grant is giving $25,000 to seven regional library systems and seven municipal libraries in total.

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