Library applauded for community support and outreach

By Sue Tiffin
The following are brief reports of items discussed during a Jan. 12 meeting of the Haliburton County Public Library board.

Highlands East Deputy Mayor Cec Ryall, who sits on the board, thanked HCPL CEO Chris Stephenson and staff for opening the Cardiff library after-hours to assist with food bank-related activities.
“It’s so greatly appreciated, and a beautiful place to see,” said Ryall. “Thank you and thank your staff.”
“We’re pleased to use the library for purposes beyond the regular hours, it’s just a matter of rallying our troops and then creating those partnerships in the community and building bridges, which we’re continuing to do, certainly with our new programming and outreach co-ordinator Andrea Brown,” said Stephenson. “We’re off to a good start in that community and I’d like to see more of that elsewhere in the system.”

Dysart et al Mayor Andrea Roberts thanked Brown through Stephenson for visiting the Gardens of Haliburton retirement home to help promote the library’s book club resources.
Movie streaming and digital magazine services launched Kanopy, a free streaming service which gives library members access to movie and television shows for both adults and children, and a digital magazine service have been launched and are attracting users.
Stephenson said he was anticipating “a runaway success” with magazines, as a service available through the Libby or Overdrive apps offers library patrons access to 3,800 digital magazines.
“Everything from Old House Journal, to Maclean’s, to Fashion magazine, you name it, it’s in there,” said Stephenson. “I was reading the New Yorker last night. They’re all free, you can take out as many as you want.”
He said in the last 10 days, there had been 235 magazine checkouts.
“These are very high numbers for a brand new service,” said Stephenson.
Kanopy has been available since the middle of December, and Stephenson said a report showed that 63 people signed up right away, and more than 100 people were viewing films “right out of the gate.”
He noted the library is on budget for the service, and in the future more of a collection might be added if numbers stay under budget and the service continues to be used.

Dorset book depot readies for readers
A new courier has been hired and will undergo training this week to get the Dorset book depot up and running. The book depot – lockers that have been put in place outside of Robinson’s General Store to serve library patrons in the Dorset area while the space at the Dorset Recreation Centre is temporarily unavailable – was set up at the end of December and lockers have been mounted and secured so they are safe for use.
“As soon as we can establish who in the area is interested in using the service and placing holds and using the service, we’ll start to create a spreadsheet and assign a locker and get going right away,” said HCPL CEO Chris Stephenson.
He said he anticipated that service would be available by the end of the month.
Board elects officers
As the meeting was the first of the year, the library board elected a chair and vice-chair for the term – a year – of the library board. Sally Howson will again serve as chair of the board, and Roberts will serve as vice-chair.
The next meeting of the HCPL board takes place on Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. More information is available at or