2023 Annual Report

In 2023, the Library welcomed a new Library Board. The Board is made up of nine members, three from each of our supporting municipalities. The Town of Perth and the Townships of Drummond/North Elmsley and Tay Valley each appoint one municipal councillor and two lay members to the library board for the four-year council term.

The Library also relaunched our volunteer program, with an average of 110 hours contributed each month. Volunteers deliver books, provide tech tutoring, and are Reading Buddies, among other tasks!

“Kudos!! You are offering such interesting diverse programs!!”

“I have always had a library card since a child and have felt the library is one of the main anchors of a community from children right up to seniors. We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful library.”

“Wow. We are so rich. Your library services are amazing!”

New programs launched this year include Indigenous Reads, a new book club focusing on reading works by and about Indigenous authors, and Reading Buddies, a volunteer based 1-1 reading program for primary students. The Library also participated in the award-winning Lanark STEM program, which provides 75 hours of STEM programming per library in Lanark County with Steampunk robotics.

Thanks to a grant from the Perth & District Community Foundation, the Library revamped the children’s section to encourage creative play. The Library also installed new gardens and walkways along the canal side of the building, creating an inviting space that can also be used more regularly for library programming, thanks to a grant from the Healthy Communities Initiative, and installed a Bike Fix-It station outside the library, thanks to a donation from the Friends of the Library.

new furniture in children's section at the library
library garden improvements in progress
thank you to library volunteers
Bike repair station

In November, the Library launched a new satellite library service at the Maberly Hall in Tay Valley Township. This new library service offers pickup and drop-off of library materials and Babytime and Book Club programs.

In June, the Library completed training and was certified as “Dementia-Friendly” by the Alzheimer Society of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville.

In October, Library Board and staff participated in a KAIROS blanket exercise, an experiential workshop that explores the nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. The Library continues to work with its Indigenous Advisory Circle to help guide the development and delivery of library services in our community for and about Indigenous peoples.

80,183 visits

1,027 meeting room bookings
4, 822
computer sessions

142,686 books, eBooks, and more borrowed

411 programs offered
4,772 program attendance

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.

Where the money comes from:

Funding Municipalities:
     Perth: $257,979
     TVT: $190,184
     DNE: $195,833
Provincial Operating Grant: $42,817
Other grants: $44,086
Donations: $34,518
General Revenue: $47,162
Reserves: $33,000

Where the money goes:

Staff, Benefits, Training: $538,545
Collections: $80,825
Literacy Programs & Activities: $41,845
Building & Insurance: $96,347
Fire Hall Lease & Operations: $3,314
Technology: $14,186
Supplies: $17,221
Transfer to Reserves: $53,296

The library’s union system is very cost-effective. By participating in the union library system, each of our member municipalities pay 50-60% of what they would if they were to set up and run their own library system. However, the funding provided by the three municipalities together does not cover the full cost of running the library. Our collections (books), programs, and technology expenses are currently covered by self-generated revenue, grants and donations.

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 Club Fridays, and all of our supportive community members

and most of all to you, our library users!

Library Board (2023-2026)

Tara Langford, TVT – Board Chair
Gary Waterfield, ToP – Councillor
Patricia Mertins, ToP
Deborah Hamilton-Foley, ToP
Paul Coutts, DNE – Councillor
Lillian Logan, DNE
Ted Parkinson, DNE – Policy Committee Chair
Dawn Palmer, TVT
Andrew Kendrick, TVT – Councillor/Property Committee Chair
Lynn Marsh – Secretary/Treasurer

Library Staff

Winter/Spring/Summer 2023
Interim CEO: Julie Hansen
Coordinator – Customer Service: Bettina Woods
Children’s Library Specialist: Heidi Taber
Adult & Senior Library Specialist: Michelle Wolford
Library Assistants: Laurie Murray, Jennifer Bain, Kendra Miller
Pages: Orria Nielsen, Rachel Warren
Caretaker: Paul Kirkham

Fall 2023
CEO: Erika Heesen
Coordinator – Customer Service: Julie Hansen
Children’s Library Specialist: Heidi Taber
Adult & Senior Library Specialist: Michelle Wolford
Library Assistants: Laurie Murray, Jennifer Bain, Kendra Miller
Pages: Orria Nielsen, Rachel Warren
Caretaker: Paul Kirkham