The Ottawa Public Library is seeking a budget increase to extend Sunday’s opening hours

Normally, it spends about $ 2.3 million in its annual capital program, but money will be set aside over the next four years to cover any shortcomings that arise from purchasing new furniture, fixtures and fittings for the new central library.

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The Ottawa Public Library’s budget proposal for 2022 calls for a four percent increase to extend Sunday’s opening hours, improve online services and set aside money to buy furniture for the new central library.

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Ottawa Public Library Board members received $ 56.6 million in budget proposals Tuesday night as they welcomed the City Council’s recent decision to continue construction of the new Central Library, whose costs have unexpectedly risen.

Last month, the city council approved an additional $ 64 million to cover the revised price for the new central library.

The project’s initial estimate was $ 193 million, but construction bids were received during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic as the cost of materials soared. The new cost is $ 334 million, which will be shared with the federal government.

grev. Matthew Luloff, chairman of the library’s board, said he was excited to be able to break ground on the construction project later in the year. “This approval is a testament to the incredible work that has gone into this project over the years,” Luloff said. “This approval serves as an important reminder of the value of libraries.”

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The city is using reserves, development costs and debt to fund the extra $ 64 million.

The joint project of the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada will create a super library on LeBreton Flats. Library and Archives Canada will pay $ 136 million for the facility, compared to its previously planned contribution of $ 70.6 million.

PCL will build the library, which will be known as Ādisōke and designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects and KWC Architects.

Included in the library’s budget proposal for 2022 is a $ 1.54 million capital program with funding for the new Riverside South Library Department. The Ottawa Public Library typically spends about $ 2.3 million in its annual capital program, but money will be set aside over the next four years to cover any shortcomings that arise from purchasing new furniture, fixtures and fittings for Ādisōke.

The library intends to launch a $ 7 million fundraising campaign to cover these costs, but staff will set aside money in a reserve fund if those efforts fall short.

Division Manager Anna Basile said last year’s decision to remove overdue book fines brought many customers back to the library. The 2022 budget is designed to further reduce barriers to library access, she said, and to that end it calls for the employment of eight full-time equivalents to extend service hours on Sundays.

A 2020 file photo of the Carlingwood section of the Ottawa Public Library.  The 2022 budget is designed to further reduce the barriers to library access and for this purpose calls for the employment of eight full-time equivalents to extend service time on Sundays.
A 2020 file photo of the Carlingwood section of the Ottawa Public Library. The 2022 budget is designed to further reduce the barriers to library access and for this purpose calls for the employment of eight full-time equivalents to extend service time on Sundays. Photo by Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

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