The books are overdue for replacement.
That was the message from Coquitlam library’s director of services and facilities Ryan Jamieson as he addressed council Monday to discuss the library’s looming request for $340,000.
That money is intended to replace a good deal of the library’s 125,000 items released in 2015 or earlier.
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“A great many of those need replacement now,” Jamieson told council. “They’re worn out, they’re stale, they have out-of-date information.”
While the money will aid the library’s effort to swap out all “damaged and dated” materials, Jamieson made a point of explaining that $340,000 won’t result in more books on the shelves.
“The ask that is coming forward will maintain the current collection and it will not grow the collection in any meaningful way,” he said.
Recalling an effort to research the Second World War in an encyclopedia that predated 1939, Coun. Dennis Marsden encouraged his colleagues to consider Jamieson’s request along the lines of asset replacement.
“As they age out we have to replace them and you’ve put a dollar figure for that,” Marsden said as he thanked Jamieson.
The quality of the library is closely associated with the city itself, added outgoing Coun. Chris Wilson.
“If we have residents come to the library complaining about how old our collections are, that’s a reflection on us,” Wilson said.
The Coquitlam library has a goal of ensuring there are no more than five holds for any single item.
“The physical collection is doing well with this. The electronic, not so much,” Jamieson said.
There are about 160 electronic titles that have generated around 2,100 holds, Jamieson said, adding that some readers can wait 15 months for the most popular items.
“The demand’s never been higher,” Jamieson said.