The Tumbler Ridge Public Library held its annual general meeting (AGM) on the evening of January 16rd in the library. There were 18 people attending, some of who would go on to become elected board members.

Six board positions were up for election, to be given title at the regular meeting, which immediately followed the AGM. The board consists usually between 5-9 members, including Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Peace Region Association of Libraries (PRAL) Representative. As well, there is a council-appointed liaison.

Three of the previous year?s board members remain on the current board. This year the library recruited four elected positions.

The 2005 Library Board previously consisted of Jill Mason as Chair; Lorrie Spinney as Vice-Chair; Barry Blackman as Treasurer; Janet Delpierre as Secretary; Bob Norman as PRAL Representative; Janet Hartford as Advisor; Gary Doonan and Pat Kelly as trustees. Former councilor Lynn Way was the liaison for Town Hall. Of those eight members; Bob Norman, Janet Hartford and Gary Doonan remained.

The current staff are Library Manager Michele Burton; Children?s Librarian Sharon Bray; Assistant Rose O?Neill; Casual employee Joanne Ferrari; Community Access Program (CAP) Interns Kristen Holmlund and Kalijo Baxter; Teen Pages: Alyssa Thomas and Erin Peates.

The newly elected board for 2006 occupies Bob Norman as Chair and remaining as PRAL Representative; Bill Hendley as Vice-Chair; Jennifer Blake as Treasurer; Karen Fischer as Secretary; Janet Hartford as Advisor; Gary Doonan and John Kohlhauser as trustees. Councillor Larry White will serve as this year?s town council liaison. Formerly White served as Chair for the library in 2004. The board is still hoping to recruit two more trustees. The standing policy is for a two-year term, ideally with staggered election years. One trustee position is a two-year term, while the other is a single year term as a replacement to a trustee unable to fulfill their two-year commitment.

Among the most notable from those reports from agenda items were the on-going concerns regarding the library?s need for successful fundraising, which took a hit last year. While the District staffs the library and the structure is District-funded, the need for extras falls upon fundraising for any additional requirements. As stated in the Library Manager?s report for 2006, the time and cost concerns of the fundraising events had minimal return. Library Manager Burton hopes to focus on one well-done fundraiser in 2006 so she can dedicate her time to in-library duties.

As well, the current organization of PRAL may be reunifying under a different group to potentially be known as North Eastern Library Federation (NELF). This group consists of the same group members as PRAL, with the present exception of Dawson Creek and the addition of Mackenzie. The remainder of NELF includes Tumbler Ridge, Fort St. John, Chetwynd, Hudson?s Hope, Fort Nelson and Pouce Coupe.

If possible, the board would like to see all vacant positions of the Tumbler Ridge Public Library Board filled. Please remember that they still need a one-year and two year term filled for trustees. For further information, please contact Michele Burton at 242-4778.