Better library services, resources eyed for Sooke

Community meeting about new library services in Sooke tells of a new direction.

How the Vancouver Island Regional Library could improve service and attract new readers was the focus of a special meet at Sooke Family Resource Society last Wednesday.

The meeting, sponsored by VIRL, also addressed upcoming changes and updates in services, as well as talk of the new Sooke library.

Library trustee and Sooke Coun. Kerrie Reay said the meeting went better than imagined, with many community members present.

Among the topics was better marketing of library services, and what the library has to offer, not only to the public, but to two of the most diverse groups: the young and the elderly.

This also included increasing the number of books and media available.

“Much of the discussion revolved around how to market and communicate to the community to make the library a great place to be,” said Reay, adding one of the first things to be addressed in the new library program will be better hours of operation.

This is to accommodate a significant part of Sooke’s population that travels out of town and doesn’t return until later hours.

“We don’t have very strong weekends to service those people,” Reay said.

Among the items that got to the table on Wednesday were the implementation of bigger and separate areas of in the proposed 10,000 square-foot library, such as study halls from the general shuffle of library public, as well as a children’s section.

“It would create a quiet area for adults who are doing research from free of outside noise, which would be greatly appreciated,” she said, adding that some of the public input was also in regards to providing senior access to modern computer machines.

“We talked a lot about ways on engaging seniors who are not computer-literate,” she said.

Increasing the size of the collection was also in the books as well as creating a collection that uniquely talks about the history of Sooke, Reay said. She added that working with the T’Sou-ke First Nation on the development of a new section dedicated to the band’s history and culture would also be a valuable asset to the new facility.

The location of the new library has not been announced, though Reay said ideally it would be located in the town centre.

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