Moose Jaw Public Library is More Than Just Bricks and Mortar

Robert Thomas

Despite the digital age and the Internet, the Moose Jaw Public Library is still as relevant as ever.
That’s the message the Library brought in their annual report to Moose Jaw City Council.

“It was a very successful year serving the citizens of Moose Jaw,” Janice Lamb, Chairperson of the Library board told Council.

The year saw the Library enter the digital world in a number of ways. When it comes to Google, which is used by many to find information on the Internet, the Library actually can go beyond that, as pay walls often means access costs money.

“The Library provides easy access to this content,” Lamb stated.

Another cyber initiative is a partnership with the data website, which provides free access to a large number of on-line courses, which has proven popular, she said. The report also mentions that the Library has a new website this year which is more mobile device friendly, as more and more people move to smart phones and tablets instead of computers.

“You can walk through our doors physically as well as digitally,” she said.

The Library provided computers on-site with 14,381 logins. An increase of 16 percent from 2016.
“The Library is proud to offer this service to the community,” she said, adding that it helps people with no computers find jobs, make applications and access e-mail.

Despite going digital, the Library is still about a more traditional walk-in approach, as people come to borrow books and other types of media.

The Library operated 328 days for 3278 hours which allowed 164,943 visits.

A total of 281,436 print and digital items were lent out. Of which 75 percent of those loans were local. Additionally, there are 18,137 library cards held by Moose Jaw residents.

The Library’s outreach service lent out 3611 items for people who were unable to physically come to the Library. Councillor Don Mitchell stated he has family members who take advantage of the outreach program.

“My 98 year old mother has audio books delivered to her house and is very much appreciative,” Coun Mitchell stated.

The Library’s programs were said to help with literacy and were well attended. There were 260 children’s programs with 4373 children attending, 125 adult programs with 1209 adults attending and 53 youth programs with 480 youth attending.

“All programs are free of charge to the public,” Lamb stated.

Library staff answered 17,668 general questions with an additional 411 archive questions answered.

Councillor Crystal Froese inquired about the now defunct Moose Jaw Times-Herald  and if they had provided any materials to the archives.

“I haven’t heard anything from the Times-Herald; we’re hoping to,” Gwen Fisher Head Librarian stated.

moose jaw