In a tight vote on November 28, the Glendon Library Board secured $20,000 in start-up funding from Bonnyville’s Municipal District.
The motion, proposed by Coun, Dana Swigart, narrowly passed with a 3-2 vote, highlighting the contentious nature of the decision and the importance of the funding for the Glendon community.
The approved motion designates $9,000 from the 2023 operating budget and the remaining $11,000 from the cash flow reserve to support the establishment of the Glendon Library. Additionally, Coun. Mike Krywiak has been appointed to the Glendon Library Board for a two-year term.
The split vote saw councilors Dana Swigart, Don Slipchuck, and Darcy Skarsen in favor, while Reeve Barry Kalinski and Deputy Reeve Josh Crick opposed it.
The Glendon Library Board, seeking a $20,000 start-up budget, initially presented the proposal during the Nov. 14 council meeting. The library, operating within Glendon School, officially opened earlier this fall after the Village of Glendon had been without a public library for 23 years.
A key point of contention during the council discussion was the potential diversion of resources and visitors from the Bonnyville Municipal Library, located about 30 km away.
Coun. Dana Swigart addressed concerns by providing specific figures on the anticipated local usage of the Glendon Library compared to the Bonnyville Municipal Library. The Glendon Library Board presented a comprehensive vision emphasizing its role as a community hub, offering various programs for all age groups to reduce the need for residents to travel to Bonnyville.
The programs include drop-in Storytime, maker space, read and rolls for young children, after-school homework help, writing groups, board game nights, financial literacy, resume writing, cooking, and sewing classes for adults, as well as computer classes for seniors. The library plans to operate 45 hours weekly to address accessibility concerns.
The Glendon Library Board clarified that the $20,000 requested aimed to cover start-up expenses, including equipment, books, furniture, and technology. Despite concerns, Glendon residents have been able to register for library cards and borrow books from the newly established public library since October 30. Marking a significant step forward for community access to educational and recreational resources.