Library loan program will cost taxpayers thousands, limits imposed

Cornwall Public Library CEO Dawn Kiddell makes a presentation to city council on Monday, June 10, 2019. Both the city and county libraries say restoring the inter-library loan service will cost thousands of un-budgeted dollars for a service that won't be what it was. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Even though it’s coming back, the inter-library loan service will end up costing taxpayers thousands of dollars this year alone and the service won’t be what it was.

That’s according to representatives of the Cornwall Public Library and the SDG Library.

In an interview with Cornwall Newswatch, Cornwall Public Library CEO Dawn Kiddell said the service should be restored by the end of the month, though materials will be delivered by Canada Post at book rate, which is “quite reasonable.”

But people won’t be able to borrow as much.

“Allowing people unlimited requests is going to be difficult, so we’re going to have to impose some limits. We’re trying to get some consensus on what those limits are,” Kiddell told Newswatch.

“Personally, I don’t think service can be restored at previous levels.”

The Cornwall Public Library borrowed 3,500 items and lent 3,200 last year. “At $2 per item…so we’re looking at 6,000 plus dollars that we didn’t have (in our budget) before.”

At the SDG Library, inter-library loan service started today (June 24).

Marketing Librarian Susan Wallwork said the added expense will depend on what is being lent out. “In a report presented to the library board on June 13, we indicated we would ‘cap’ postage expenses at $5,000 for the remainder of this year,” Wallwork said.

The county library is already imposing limits. There will be a maximum of three requests at a time (previously, it was five). The SDG Library will also not be loaning out or requesting DVDs or audio books. Items through the inter-library loan service have to be two years old or older.

The inter-library loan service, which allows borrowers to access materials from another library outside their home branch, was suspended in April after a 50 per cent funding cut to libraries in the provincial budget.

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