While we had high hopes for 2021, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the library continued to operate curbside and digital services for most of the first half of the year. When restrictions began to ease, the library slowly re-opened, initially offering computer access and outdoor programs, then proceeding to a full re-opening, with browsing, computers, programs and meeting rooms all available.

Thanks for all your work-really appreciate it. I don’t know what I would do without the library books to keep me occupied with the virus on.


Since re-opening in July, the library averaged around 5,000 visits per month (50% of pre-COVID traffic), with meeting rooms in high demand. Thanks to the support of the Friends of the Library and Ann Drennan, the library installed new tables and chairs outside so more folks could enjoy our free WiFi and visit outdoors.

Programs shifted from entirely virtual, to outdoor, to inside. The library continues to offer a virtual ‘hybrid’ option as well as attending in-person for most of our programs. We happily resumed our Summer Literacy Program and OWLS Tutoring in-person, with 164 kids receiving help with reading through the year.

He’s read more this summer than any other time in his life! We’ve been doing the contest as a part of our summer homeschooling and he now says, “Let’s homeschool EVERY summer. Reading isn’t bad actually.” So thank you for that!


The library rose to the challenge to help the community access, print and laminate their vaccination certificates. On the busiest days, library staff printed over 100 certificates, with a certificate printed every 4 minutes! All told, the library helped to print over 4,700 certificates.

This is fabulous, thank you so much. I’m a tech dinosaur, and these kinds of things sometimes leave me in a pinch.

All online services remained open 24/7. The library continues to work to bridge the digital divide. In 2021, the library launched access to PressReader, which offers unlimited access to over 7000 newspapers and magazines with your library card. It joins our other online services, including eBooks, eAudiobooks, and film streaming. To meet demand, the library also increased the number of lending WiFi hotspots from 2 to 6. These devices can be borrowed for a week at a time and provide unlimited internet access for up to 10 laptops, phones, etc.

In 2021:

242 library cardholders read 10,416 newspapers/magazines

219 library cardholders streamed 4,429 films

954 library cardholders read 39,532 eBooks/eAudiobooks

20,204 people visited the library website

Finally, the library re-developed our strategic plan to incorporate the agility that we have learned over the past two years. 

Our mission is to share knowledge, foster community, and enrich lives.

Our five focus areas are:

The library is more equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible.
The library fosters community and is seen as an open and welcoming place for all.

Everyone in our community is aware of the services of the library. It’s exciting to have a library card!
Raise the profile of the library in the community.

People feel connected to each other and the library.
The library offers programs that connect people to each other and the library.

Rural residents feel like the library is “for them”.
The library offers programs and services virtually or off-site.

The library is funded to meet current and future operational needs.
The library has a robust fundraising program and our funders see the value of library services.

To learn more about the actions planned for 2022 and 2023, read our full agility plan. As the Chair of the Library Board, I am pleased to be a part of a great team: Board members, staff, and our volunteers. We look forward to the coming year!

Chair of the Library Board

The library is an essential community facility because:

  • the library is a vibrant community hub that draws people together and inspires community connections. 
  • it is a place for all ages: seniors whose only personal contact in a day might be the library staff; parents and children visiting, reading, and picking out books together; teens hanging out after school.
  • if you’re on a limited income, there is a significant value in access to technology and books. The library bridges the digital divide by providing Internet access, lending laptops, hotspots, and more, and helps people learn how to use technology through tutoring programs.

In 2021, our community members visited the library over 33,000 times to use computers, meeting rooms, and borrow over 120,000 books, eBooks, and more.

Where the money comes from:

Funding Municipalities:
     Perth: $227,886
     TVT: $170,110
     DNE: $173,172
Provincial Operating Grant: $42,817
Other grants: $26,637
Donations: $80,403
General Revenue: $14,925
Reserves: 15,294

Where the money goes:

Staff, Benefits, Training: $502,303
Collections: $67,499
Literacy Programs & Activities: $45,502
Building & Insurance: $68,593
Fire Hall Lease & Operations: $2,372
Technology: $10,073
Supplies: $13,295
Transfer to Reserves: $37,607
Transfer to Library’s Endowment Funds at Perth & District Community Foundation: $4,000

Thank you!
… to our funding municipalities: Perth, Drummond/North Elmsley, Tay Valley
… to our board members and more than 40 volunteers
… to our community partners and local businesses
… to our fundraising partners: Friends of the Library, Film Night International, and all of our supportive community members

and most of all to you, our library users!

Library Board (2019-2022)

Carol Rigby, TVT – Board Chair
John Fenik, ToP – Mayor
Sheldon Giff, ToP
Deborah Hamilton-Foley, ToP
John Matheson, DNE – Councillor
Susan Murray, DNE
Dawn Palmer, TVT
Ted Parkinson, DNE – Policy Committee Chair
Rob Rainer, TVT – Councillor/Property Committee Chair
Lynn Marsh – Secretary/Treasurer

The Library Board extends thanks to all Board members who served in 2021:
Cathy James, ToP (served 2019-2021)

Library Staff

CEO: Erika Heesen
Coordinator – Customer Service: Julie Hansen
Children’s Library Specialist: Heidi Taber
Adult & Senior Library Specialist: Emily Smith
Library Assistants: Laurie Murray, Jennifer Bain, Kendra Miller
Pages: Delaney Campbell, Leighla Foster
Caretaker: Paul Kirkham