Highlights from 23 March 2021, MMPL Board public meeting with the municipal Council Committee of the Whole

The MMPL Board thanks Mississippi Mills Council for a productive discussion via Zoom. MMPL Chair, Cathy Peacock, is also thanked by her Board as spokesperson extraordinaire! Highlights from the meeting follow.

The future of library services is sharing resources and information as well as breaking down barriers to access. This is best achieved through reciprocal borrowing, but there are alternative service models that also would

  • ensure compliance with the Libraries Act
  • save the municipality money and eliminate paying for duplicate library services, and
  • ensure no changes to library service for South Ramsay residents

If you live in South Ramsay and Carleton Place Public Library (CPPL) is your closest library, you are not losing this benefit. The MMPL Board – with the Municipality’s support – plans to reimburse the CPPL non-resident, annual membership fee of $30 to every South Ramsay resident. This MMPL Board decision will be reviewed annually to ensure patrons are satisfied with their library services.

Mississippi Mills Council’s primary concern that South Ramsay not lose free access to CPPL is valid. The MMPL Board is committed to communicate with South Ramsay, consult with residents there and their Council representatives so that current library services continue.

In early February, the MMPL Library Board received a communication from the Ministry in charge of libraries. The ministry supports the Public Libraries Act which states when a municipality has an established Library Board all library services arrangements must be made Board to Board. Library Boards are distinct from Councils so that decisions made by a Library Board are non-partisan. Library Boards are committed to the most effective and best delivery of services to all residents. Provincial library funding also favours libraries that are both accredited and compliant to the Public Libraries Act. MMPL will be both.

MMPL Board’s near future service goal is a reciprocal borrowing agreement with CPPL and across Lanark County libraries. MMPL, Perth and Lanark Highlands Public Libraries have already signed reciprocal borrowing agreements to best serve their residents. South Ramsay library patrons already have free access to these libraries. The next step toward realizing a County-wide reciprocal borrowing agreement has been decided: the MMPL Board is leading by example and has eliminated all MMPL non-resident fees to all library patrons in Lanark County – including Carleton Place. Moving Lanark County’s libraries closer to County-wide reciprocal borrowing agreements moves us all further towards the goal of breaking down barriers and sharing information and resources with our neighbours.

Mississippi Mills Council’s final vote in support of removing MMPL from the municipal cost sharing agreement comes on 6 April. A news release announcing Mississippi Mills Public Library’s removal of all non-resident fees for library patrons across Lanark is coming soon, as is further consultation with South Ramsay and Carleton Place Public Library and CPPL Board.

MMPL Board thanks Mississippi Mills residents for their overwhelming support of library services at the two MMPL branches over this past, very trying, year. Thank you for all your messages of support!

To review the video recording of the 23 March meeting, please click here.

Please direct any questions to MMPL CEO Christine Row at crow@mississippimills.ca or 613-256-1037 or to MMPL Board Chair Cathy Peacock at cpeacock@missmillslibrary.com.