Central Library – update

Central Library will NOT be on the RPL Board’s June 22 agenda – the RPL Board is waiting for reports from the consultants. Their next regularly scheduled Board meeting is September 28. It is not know if Central Library will be on the agenda or if or when a special meeting could be called.

However, this is still a good time, before decisions are made, for people to put in some efforts to support the retention of the modernist building and ensure full public involvement in any decisions made

Please go ahead and:
– Let FRPL know your thoughts
– Email or write to the RPL Board
– Contact Regina’s Mayor and City Councillors

Please email or phone FRPL if you have an interest regarding Central Library
– Share ideas or information
– Research examples of modernist library buildings
– Assist with planning ways to inform the public
– Other suggestions …..

Central Library – June 22 Decisions

The future of Reginas modernist Central Library, may be decided at the RPL Board meeting on June 22, 2021.

A report from Colliers Project Leaders and KPMG to the RPL Board, is expected to be on the RPL Board agenda on June 22, 2021; a draft agenda will be posted on Friday June 11 at https://www.reginalibrary.ca/about/leadership/board-meetings-2021. The deadline for: 1. A submission; and, 2. a request to make a presentation to the Board which must be clearly stated in your email to the Board and in your submission, would be Wednesday June 16 at 12 Noon. See the precise rules for making a submission here, which must be followed.  https://www.reginalibrary.ca/about/leadership/presenting-to-the-board

See more information at https://friendsofrpl.ca/central-branch-2021

Provincial library funding

FRPL has sent a letter to the Saskatchewan Minister of Education encouraging an increase in funding to the provincial library system. We are also asking for a report and list of actions resulting from the recent provincial library review. https://friendsofrpl.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/frpl-to-hon.-dustin-duncan-mar-22-2021-final.pdf

RPL budget at City – March 24, 1:00 pm

FRPL has sent in a letter about the RPL budget. https://friendsofrpl.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/frpl-to-city-re-rpl-budget-2021-mar-22-2021-final.pdf

We will be making a presentation sometime after 1 pm Wed. Mar 24. To see the budget meeting agenda go to the City website https://www.regina.ca/city-government/city-council/council-meetings/ http://reginask.iqm2.com/Citizens/default.aspx

New RPL Board reps – Masters & Findura

The two new City Council representatives on the Regina Public Library Board will be Mayor Sandra Masters and Councilor John Findura.
The full slate of the committees that all the City Councilors are recommended for is in the December 2 City Council meeting packet on pages 88 to 89 http://reginask.iqm2.com/Citizens/default.aspx

FRPL AGM Sat Nov 26 1:30 pm

For the FRPL AGM, there are several options for participating.

For those that haven’t Zoomed before: 1. You can join by phone 2. You can click on the meeting link and download Zoom 3. If downloading Zoom doesn’t work for you , you can go to this webpage [https://zoom.us/]. Click on Join a Meeting . Enter the Meeting ID. Enter Passcode.

Email FRPL@sasktel.net to get the Meeting Link, ID and Passcode.

Please try to sign up at 1:15 so we can get settled before the meeting starts at 1:30.

Central Library decision June 23

The RPL Board will likely be deciding on the future of the Central Library Building at its June 23, 2020 Board meeting.

We feel that this decision should not be made at this time.

If you have comments and want to make a presentation or have your ideas put to the RPL Board, please send your letter to the RPL Board by 12:00 noon on Wednesday June 17 at therplboard@reginalibrary.ca

Meetings today are teleconferences.  If you want to make a presentation at the RPL teleconference meeting, you need to make a request.

https://www.reginalibrary.ca/about/leadership/presenting-to-the-board 

The RPL’s draft agenda will be available on Friday June 12 at this website

https://www.reginalibrary.ca/about/leadership/board-meetings-2020

Here are some points you may wish to put into your comments:

1. Who you are and what your relationship to the Regina Public Library is

2. Why you think the public needs to have an opportunity to respond to the proposed design and future of the Downtown Branch

3. Do you feel it correct to have the decision made about the future of the Downtown Branch without public input

4. What do you think the RPL Board needs to do to have a good design and something that the patrons will like and accept

5. Do you think the future branch should be a renovated branch, an expanded branch or something else

Prior to this meeting, the RPL Board developed steps for the development of the future branch.

The steps for doing something re Central Library are outlined in the attached letter sent by Jeff Barber, in response to questions from FRPL in a letter, also attached.

The report from the consultants is anticipated to be presented to the June 23, 2020 meeting of the RPL Board.

However the consultant’s report won’t be available until after the meeting, perhaps not until the meeting minutes are approved at the RPL Board meeting of September 22, 2020 and then subsequently posted to the RPL website.

Quote from attached RPL letter re steps on Central Library

Phase 1 – Project Initiation and Board Approvals:

  • Review all existing/prior studies, plans and documentation relating to the Central Library; make recommendations to RPL and, if approved by RPL, undertake or procure additional studies and reports to support the preparation of a business case for the Project and the Board’s decision-making.
  • Conduct a high-level review of branch functional operations to verify/validate the role/function of Central Library within the system.
  • Update the Central Library functional programming document and review Central Library from a city-wide perspective, taking into account RPL’s multi-location system in the context of the current population, configuration, demographics, and projected growth of the city.
  • Plan, prepare for, facilitate and report on workshops with key stakeholders, including the Board and RPL staff, as required. Plan, prepare for, facilitate and report on internal and external stakeholder, community and customer engagement activities, as required, to support the Project’s communication plan, develop support for the Project, and to obtain input and feedback on the planned spaces and services in a renewed Central Library.
  • Advise RPL regarding permitting, building code, regulatory, zoning and bylaw compliance requirements and identify strategies to address any issues (e.g. parking requirements, communication to external stakeholders). Undertake financial analysis and feasibility of various funding sources and approaches, including researching grants and borrowing options, and present funding options to support decision making.
  • Outline the logistical and financial considerations for temporary accommodation of library operations, including a plan for acquisition, renovation, moves to and from, and internal and external communications, along with an assessment of operational restrictions and impacts during the temporary relocation, as required.
  • Develop and present to the Board a business case and assist the Board to make decisions regarding the Central Library renewal project.

RPL Covid response & opening of some services

Responding to the Covid crisis has been a process for the RPL, wanting to provide services but having the safety of library patrons and staff as its first priority. On March 16,  the City of Regina announced the closure of recreational facilities and the library branches. At the March 24 meeting of the RPL Board, to the FRPL representatives who attended the meeting via teleconference,  the sense was that the Board would keep staff fully employed as long as possible. To assist during the Covid crisis, on April 2, RPL began sharing computers and servers to analyze data for scientists.  In late April, the RPL extended its free Wi-Fi coverage to encompass the outside areas surrounding its branches. On May 17 it became public through the news media that the RPL was temporarily laying off 100 of its 180 staff, hopefully only for 12 weeks. The staff union and RPL management worked out an agreement about this layoff and the subsequent return to work. The RPL said it would assist people in applying for the federal CERB benefit. That brings us up to the present time, when RPL is able to provide some limited services again, as indicated in the RPL media release of June 4, 2020 …………..

RPL MEDIA RELEASE JUNE 4, 2020

RPL to offer materials returns and curbside pickup

Customers can start returning materials to four library branch locations starting Monday, June 8, and pick up materials starting Monday, June 15.

“Our community has been telling us they need new books to read and with new safety protocols, we’re happy to serve,” Sean Quinlan, Chair of the RPL Board of Directors, said. “Customers can now walk, ride, or run to these four branches and get those items they’ve been waiting for.”

There will be four locations at which materials can be picked up and returned: Central Library, George Bothwell Branch at Southland Mall, Sunrise Branch, and Sherwood Village Branch. These services will be available Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. Instructions on how to return library materials are available on RPL’s website: www.reginalibrary.ca. Instructions for curbside pickup are coming soon.

Buildings will remain closed to the public – pickups will be done outside of the branch, and book drops will be unlocked at these four locations during the times listed. Further safety measures will be established for both customers and staff, including social distancing requirements, and a 72-hour waiting period before staff touch returned materials.

“We have put in place safety protocols such as social distancing and cleaning standards consistent with guidelines developed by Saskatchewan Health Authority and Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC),” Quinlan said. “We are doing all we can to keep everyone safe, and we ask that customers do their part too.”

Customers who would like further information are encouraged to contact us at 376-777-6000 or email  askalibrarian@reginalibrary.ca. Our hotline hours are 10:00am to 6:00pm, Monday to Saturday, and 1:00 to 5:00pm on Sunday.

……….. Instructions on how to return library materials are available on RPL’s website: www.reginalibrary.ca.

Building ideas about Central Library

On Feb. 5, members of the public talked about what they would like to see in library services at Central Library.  The participants also gave many suggestions regarding the library building, such as:

  • keep the current building,
  • add another storey or two onto the current building,
  • build an addition on the land west of the current building,
  • build up and over the current building,
  • use the City Hall parkade in some way,
  • become part of the development along the railroad west of the Main Post Office,
  • use some of the other vacant lots in the downtown,
  • have more than one library building location downtown,
  • have a library building and a community centre downtown.

These suggestions have been made in the past, and the Library Board claims to have looked at them. But the public has not seen any reports that review these ideas.

The library must first look at what services it wants to provide. This was part of previous consultations with the public and library staff.  https://www.reginalibrary.ca/cld/ The public views will be updated by the current survey. The summation of these ideas should be presented to the public for thorough discussion and prioritization.

The public should also see engineering and architectural reports on the possibilities of the many options concerning the Central Library building, including costs.

After public consensus is achieved, then decisions should be made and efforts to get community support behind funding options could go ahead.

Deadline – CORRECTION – Feb 20 at MIDNIGHT is the deadline for filling out the RPL survey

CORRECTION The RPL survey deadline is actually MIDNIGHT Feb 20.

Thurs. Feb. 20 at 9 AM is the deadline for filling in the survey about Central Library.

The consultants will be compiling their report for decisions by the Library Board. The next public RPL Board meeting is March 24. It is not clear if they will be deciding at that point in time on the major directions of: renovating Central Library, adding on to the current building or demolishing the building and adding on. It is unclear whether the RPL Board will share a tentative decision for public feedback before making the decision final. However, the discussions at the public meeting on Feb. 5 seemed to indicate that the Board would just go ahead with its decision based on the consultants report, “sometime in the spring”..

Of course, later on the consultants will certainly present pictures of design details, but that will not give public scrutiny to the Board’s major decision.