Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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

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

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 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: 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 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:

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. 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.

Survey on Central Library

The RPL has a survey about Central Library.
– fill it out online
– print and fill in the attached PDF and bring to a library
– ask for a print copy at any library branch to fill in there

The deadline for filling out the survey is not know, but the consultants want to get their report done in the next couple of months, so try to fill out the survey in the next few days. Public opinion does work and we are the public.

Some things to note:
– The questions are reasonably open-ended.
– Question 8 allows you to add your own comments.
– Question 5 neglects to mention:
………..the Prairie History Room
………..being a source for reference material and research
………..literacy programs
………..Outreach Services
– The survey doesn’t ask whether you would like to see the current building preserved or ask ideas about how the space could be expanded (extra floors, build on to the west, build up-and-over, use the City Hall parkade for parking, locate some services in another building). How to improve it cost-effectively. Please indicate your suggestions.
– Think about what the Central Library’s role should be in Regina’s downtown. And the options for other organizations or buildings to fill these roles.

We encourage you to look at the previous reports.
Project Main page
Previous reports
– Dialogue community survey
– Central Library building assessment
– Development plan, lots of information and ideas here, see page 85-86 for overview of site, ideas about each area of the library, services that could be provided and space needed.

FRPL members will be meeting to discuss plans concerning Central Library. If you would like to participate in these discussions, please email us, or phone (306) 535-9570

Over 100 people turned out for the meeting on Feb. 5 ! Most were in favour of retaining the current library building, some agreeing with renovations or additions if needed. Many good questions were asked and suggestions made. Here is CTV news coverage–9XjsTtbs811j1qR91Ao

Central Library building future Feb 5, 2020

The future of the Central Library building will discussed on Wednesday February 5 at 7 pm on the Mezzanine floor of Central Library.

PLEASE ATTEND as these meetings by consultants will guide future steps regarding Central Library.

See invitation letter from RPL below and attached poster. More information is also available on the RPL website

Subject:RPL Open House – February 5th – 7 p.m.Date:Thu, 30 Jan 2020 18:46:33 +0000
From:Jeff Barber
Dear Partners & Stakeholders,
As you may be aware, the RPL Board of Directors and Management team are reviewing options for a renewed Central Library. To support the review of Central, the Board of Directors contracted the services of Colliers Project Leaders and KPMG to develop a business case about the future of Central Library.
RPL is hosting a community open house to provide background, a summary of activities to date, main objectives of the business case, and potential future activities stemming from it, followed by a Q&A session. Your feedback is important to us and we want to ensure you are invited to have your say!
Details are provided in the attached poster as well as below:
Date: February 5, 2020
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Mezzanine
Second Floor, Central Library
2311 – 12th Ave
We hope that you can attend to provide your valuable feedback.
Jeff Barber
Library Director & CEO
Regina Public Library

RPL Budget at City Hall Dec 9

City Hall will offer its approval or disapproval of the RPL request for a 2.3% increase in its mill rate. FRPL will be making a presentation to City Council about the RPL 2020 budget on December 9, 2019 at 5:30. FRPL is first on the agenda right at 5:30. The FRPL presentation starts on page 8 of the agenda packet. Also available for download here FRPL to City re RPL budget 2020 – final

The RPL Budget was first discussed by the City at the Executive Committee meeting on November 13
The RPL budget starts on page 103 of the Agenda Packet for the November 13 meeting of Executive Committee

Public presentations will be on December 9, City Council will then meet on December 10 to handle motions relate to budget items. So the actual vote on the RPL budget mill rate request may not occur until December 10. This two day process is new to City Council this year.

May 2 – Biblio Files photos and talk

Anticipate an excellent presentation on May 2 by the editors of Biblio Files – the book about the history of Regina Public Library!


Thursday May 2nd.  12:00 to 1:00 pm.  Room 112 College Building, 2155 College Ave., Regina 

Course Fee: $5 unless otherwise stated (See note below re coupon)


Join Biblio Files editors, Susan Birley, Anne Campbell and Jeannie Mah, to learn about the past hundred years of the Regina Public Library. Discover how the Library evolved, over decades of technological and cultural shifts, to reflect the needs of the community. The RPL story, told through the voices of Chief Librarians, library workers, RPL Board and community members, will be of interest to students of women’s history, social history, cultural institutions and anyone who loves libraries.

If you haven’t been to a Thursday Forum before, there are coupons for a free entry for yourself and a friend on page 25 of the PDF.

You don’t need to pre-register, but get there a bit early to ensure a seat.

Last days for provincial library survey

NEWS RELEASE : Last days for provincial library survey

 Wednesday January 23, 2019

 REGINA, SK — Saskatchewan residents are being strongly encouraged to respond to the provincial survey on libraries. The survey will be open until January 25.

The survey offers opportunities to comment on a wide range of topics including funding, the one-card provincial library system, standards for library buildings, colocations with other services, how library boards operate and a review of The Public Libraries Act, 1996. “Indigenization” providing services on-reserve and programmes in other library locations is discussed. There is also an opportunity for people to write about their overall vision for their local library and for the provincial system as a whole.

The questionnaire is based on the Report of Saskatchewan Public Libraries Engagement comprised of meetings with library staff and trustees around the province. The report is one step in the provincial government following up on its promise to consult with the public after the province’s attempt to greatly reduce the provincial library budget in the spring of 2017 was met with widespread opposition. This support for libraries prompted the government to put its budget reduction on hold and promise public consultations.

“The questionnaire itself contains simple rankings for the importance of several issues and a space to fill in individual thoughts, so it is essentially a blank slate,” said Joanne Havelock, Chair of Friends of the Regina Public Library. “To make more sense and provide a strong response, people are advised to review the questions that were asked of the library administrators (listed in Appendix B) and the discussion of Themes in the report.”

The survey was announced on January 10, 2019 and thus was only available for 15 days, and is only available on-line.

“This is a very short window for people to hear about and respond to the survey. The survey reflects on issues concerning urban, rural and northern library users and people living on reserves, and opportunities for input should be including persons with disabilities,” stated Havelock. “It doesn’t include people who don’t have computer access. There should have been more promotion of the survey and the questions it is asking and opportunities to fill it in at library branches.”

“One of the recommendations is for a provincial library strategy”, said Havelock. “We hope that this survey is just a start in a process of the government obtaining feedback, sending draft recommendations out to the public, and getting further feedback. In addition to the survey, people are encouraged to send in their ideas to their library boards and to the Minister of Education.”

For more information contact:

Joanne Havelock: cell (306) 535-9570

Government of Saskatchewan “Report of Saskatchewan Public Libraries Engagement Survey”



FRPL presentation to RPL Board re submissions and delegations

FRPL will be making a presentation today at the Regina Public Library Board meeting citing ways to improve the Board’s policy around public input into Board meetings – 4:30 pm in the 2nd floor Boardroom at Central Library.

 The RPL Board instituted a new Submissions and Delegations policy in May 2018.

“Many of the new rules are copied from City Council and laying them out provides some clarity”, said Joanne Havelock Chair of FRPL. “FRPL has some recommendations for improving these rules.”

A key question will be how the Board handles submissions and requests for presentations that contain criticism of the Board or library operations.

Under the new policy, the topics that can be addressed are limited to items already on the Board’s agenda, limiting the opportunities for members of the public to make presentations on other emerging issues.

“Library patrons send messages to the Library Board – praise and criticism – all aimed at improving library operations. The Library Board needs to ensure that it is encouraging and not restricting public input. FRPL has tried to have respectful discussions with the RPL Board, encourage good consultation processes by the RPL and encourage public participation in opportunities to put their views forward. FRPL is encouraging dialogue between the Board and patrons on these new submissions and delegation policies so that future exchanges of ideas can be productive.”

A rally is being held at 4:00 pm at Central Library, organized by patrons concerned about their ability to have their voices heard at the Library Board.

Note that the Board meeting will start with a half hour AGM, followed by the regular January meeting agenda.