General · 14th December 2010
Bill Holdom, Chair Vancouver Island Regional Library Board,
Dear Mr. Holdom,
I would like to express my views about plans to relocate the Quadra Island branch library, which is likely to happen in the coming year.
Quadra Island effectively has two distinct, community focal points: Heriot Bay and Quathiaski Cove. Both have a store and are the location for residents’ mail boxes.
The library in its present location is one of the most used small branches in the system with more than 56,000 unique visits last year; in the North Island the only branch that serves more people is Campbell River. The Quadra branch is frequented by island residents as well as the many people who live on the Outer Islands (Read, Maurelle, Sonora, Stuart etc) who come to Heriot Bay to go to the library, do their shopping and pick up their mail; they do not choose to make the journey to Campbell River.
I understand that under the regulations that govern Vancouver Island Regional Library, a library should be “not less than 15 minutes” from the nearest alternative branch. This is certainly the case for the Quadra Island library in its present location; Heriot Bay is about 15 minutes, by car (there is no public transit on the island) from the ferry to Campbell River. I am, however, concerned that if the board decides to relocate the Quadra Branch, a new location might be perceived as within that 15 minute time frame because it is closer to the ferry which, in turn, could lead to the eventual elimination of our own branch library.
Most people who live on Quadra Island, and those who live on islands beyond, want to be able to have access to services on the island and not have to make a journey to town. As noted the island has two post offices, two stores and in addition has its own medical clinic, pharmacy and receives a laboratory services from the hospital. There is a school, a gas station, two mechanics, a number of small businesses, shops and services: the island is very self-sufficient. That includes having a library.
I know that making a decision for another community is always difficult with the additional concerns of economic restraint. And I hope that you hear widely from a range of people on Quadra about their views on the future of the library service on the island.
Claire Trevena, MLA
This letter was also sent to the Vie-Chair of the Regional Library Board, Rona-Rae Leonard.
Thank You Claire
Comment by Emily Brooks on 16th December 2010
Thank you Claire for clearly representing the make up and needs of our community. I love having our little library so accessible to so many and seeing the outer island children loading up with books, locals walking or biking to the library, and having a chat with neighbours and friends. I appreciate that looking from afar Heriot Bay seems very accessible to Campbell River, but to us and especially the outer islanders it is a timely and expensive trip.