The Okotoks Public Library is hoping to turn a new chapter with an expansion.

At Okotoks Town Council's last meeting on Sept. 10, the Okotoks Public Library Board presented their desire to increase the size of the facility.

The existing library is 14,531 square feet which is below the basic standard of about 22,555 for the Town's population size according to Alberta Space Standards.

Lorraine Cathro, trustee on the Okotoks Public Library Board, says they've seen a 12.5 per cent increase in visits since 2016 and attributes that to a number of reasons.

"We lack the space to offer more programming at different times, our non print items are becoming very popular, we do have two meeting rooms and we have more people wanting to rent those spaces than we have space to give to them."

According to the library board, 22 out of 56 days within two months all of their rooms were full which resulted in 12 paying customers being turned away.

Cathro says they have an online survey asking residents what they'd like to see and so far the results all lead to needing more space.

"Larger facility, more meeting rooms, more seating. The general themes are just more, more resources, books of all types, more public computers, more toys people can check out, and all of that necessitates more space. More programs for all ages and especially more programs for children, accessibility and ease of use, and more parking."

The library board is continuing to do research and gather information to bring back to council.

The survey is still available to residents to give their feedback. To take the survey, click here.


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