Castlegar and District Public Library volunteers Trish Glass (left)

Castlegar Library will seek funds for basement reno

The Castlegar and District Public Library will be seeking funding for a basement renovation over the next three years.

The Castlegar and District Public Library will be seeking funding for a basement renovation over the next three years.

The library revealed its three-year strategic plan at its annual general meeting on Wednesday, which includes plans to move forward with a renovation of the basement to create improved meeting rooms and a tech lab to house computers, tablets and a 3D printer.

Thanks to the City of Castlegar and Areas I and J, the library was able to complete architectural drawings for the lower level as part of its previous strategic plan. Now it just needs to identify funding opportunities to bring the project to fruition.

The library will also be working on a broader funding strategy: prioritizing grant applications, exploring sponsorship opportunities, and developing a fundraising plan to encourage and formalize donations and bequests.

Before preparing the strategic plan, the library underwent a consultation process, which included a community survey that received over 1000 responses.

In addition to the basement renovation, survey respondents wanted to see worn carpeting and furnishing updated, a water fountain installed, the outdoor amphitheatre area improved and better access for people with disabilities all of which will be explored as part of the new plan.

Beyond improvement to the the physical building, respondents wanted to see access to a bigger variety of materials and more copies of materials the library already has. They also thought the library could do a better job of promoting their current services and programs. Increasing materials is difficult with a limited budget, but the strategic plan does call for improved communications and marketing.

In addition to presenting the strategic plan, the library honoured its longtime volunteers at the annual general meeting. Elaine Sloan has been a volunteer for 10 years, Lidia Sorenson for 15 years, Sheryl Nevokshonoff, Trish Glass and Joy Andersen for 20 years, and Glady Manahan, the longest-serving Castlegar Library volunteer, has been volunteering for 61 years.