Monday, March 20, 2023

Lethbridge Public Library waiting for details on Alberta Government operational grants

The CEO of the Lethbridge Public Library says it’s business as usual until more information on provincial funding comes to light.

On July 30th, the library received notification from the Public Library Services Branch that Alberta Municipal Affairs had obtained an interim supply letter that woukd allow library boards across Alberta to receive 50 per cent of their estimated 2019-2020 operating grant, pending the approval of the 2019-2020 provincial budget this fall.

Terra Plato says the library applies for an annual operational grant from the province and usually receives it mid-year.

Until she hears otherwise, she says the library will operate based on the budget that’s in place for this year with the assumption it will still receive full provincial funding.

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If, she says, the other half of the funding does not come, then decisions would have to be made.

While the operational grant makes up less than 10 per cent of the library’s budget, Plato says the provincial government funds many other services including the regional library system.

For smaller libraries like in Nanton, provincial funding can cover up to 70 per cent of operating costs.

It’s not clear if the other half of the grants will come after the provincial budget is finalized this fall.

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