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Boasting record use, Trail library seeks 4% budget increase

The Trail and District Public Library is asking the City of Trail and Village of Warfield to bump up its budget a bit in 2023 as it reports record use of its collection.

Library director Samantha Murphy told council this week that 19,885 people came through the doors of the Riverfront Centre over 75 days in the third quarter of this year, of whom 17,435 were there primarily to use the library (the building is also home to the museum and visitor centre). That’s an average of 265 per day.

She said they were unsure after COVID restrictions lifted whether they would need to coax people back to the library, but they needn’t have worried: month after month, they have been breaking circulation records set in 2019.

Between July and September, they circulated 15,649 physical items and 3,393 digital items, both the most ever in one quarter. Eighty-seven per cent of those items were checked out by Trail and Warfield residents.

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This year’s budget is about $667,500, which they hope to to $694,000 next year. They are seeking a four per cent increase from Trail and Warfield to keep up with inflation and provide a two per cent wage increase for unionized staff.

This year Trail provided $539,576 and Warfield $43,452. If approved, those figures would increase to $561,160 and $45,190 respectively, a total increase of about $23,000. In addition to receiving money through taxpayers, the library’s budget is complemented by grants, merchandise sales, user fees, non-resident fees, and donations.

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