WHEREAS Regional Library Systems exist to ensure Albertans have equitable access to library services;AND WHEREAS the per capita rate of provincial funding for regional library systems was decreased from $3.22 per capita to $3.07 in 1992, while since this time there has been a substantial rise in the cost of books and other goods and services, and the introduction of technology-based services;AND WHEREAS Public Libraries provide a universal and low-cost point of access to information for Albertans of all ages, in all parts of the province, who are pursuing the knowledge needed for success in education, business and personal projects;AND WHEREAS the per capita rate of provincial funding for public libraries was deceased from $4.29 per capita to $4.03 in 1992, while there has been a substantial rise in the cost of books and many other goods and services needed by libraries since that time;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the Government of Alberta to increase its per capita financial support for municipal public libraries to $4.50 per capita and for regional library systems to $3.54 per capita (based on the current census or the most recent population figures).
As background to this resolution, the following internal statistics kept on book purchases at St. Albert Public Library show: 1992 1998 PercentageAverage cost of books $12.58 $14.89 +18.3%Dollars per capita spent on books $3.84 $4.46 +16.2%Internal circulation 551,955 669,139 +21.0%External circulation 757,214 873,214 +15.3%Population 42,852 49,243 +15.0%Provincial contribution as % of budget $179,100or 12.8% $188,959or 12.3% -0.5%Municipal contribution as % of budget $1,010,200or 72% $1,132,506or 73% +1%Note: Amounts spent on books do not reflect costs for other materials such as magazines or audiovisual materials. Figures provided are based on books, as surveys have consistently shown our patrons (in excess of 92%) rank books as the main reason for coming to the library. As further background to this resolution, the following data from Yellowhead Regional Library is presented: 1992 2000 (Projected)Average cost of a book $12.11 $14.74Database licensing Nil $49,000Telecommunications costs $2,000 $13,800Training costs Nil $39,500Note: Grants have not kept pace with inflation nor do they begin to address the cost of sustaining technology-based services. Our public has greater expectations and wants library service to keep pace with technology.