There has been significant interest and public dialogue about the campaign for a branch library and I would like to thank St. Albertans for their engagement and support.
The board first presented the need for more library space to council in 2002 and we have continued to present potential solutions each budget cycle. Not yet convinced, council challenged the board to demonstrate a critical mass of support from the community. That support has been strong – hundreds of people have sent emails and letters to council and have posted messages of support in the library on our Branching Out tree. At the same time, a survey commissioned by the city showed that 63 per cent of St. Albertans support the expansion of the library even if a rise in taxes is needed to make it happen. The library was also identified as the people's number one choice for facility expansion.
Yet council is still not convinced. There are several council motions that will be debated as early as next week seeking to cancel or significantly delay construction of the branch library and to downsize the scope. Despite the efforts of hundreds of you, council still hasn't heard your message. We need your help to break through.
Please join us in full force to show your support as we enter this final phase of the campaign. Come to the library, purchase a Branching Out T-shirt, and attend city council’s budget meeting when the branch will be debated. Council will decide the exact date and time of the debate next Wednesday and we will post the details on the library's website.
With your help, a new branch library – with critically needed additional space – can become a reality.
Charmaine Brooks, Library Board Chair, St. Albert