Mill Street Library digital project receives provincial funding

December 7, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Orangeville’s Mill Street Public Library will be receiving $4,925 from the provincial government’s Improving Library Digital Services (ILDS) fund to provide technological and digital services to the public.

The ILDS fund is part of the government’s $3-million investment to support 307 libraries and library organizations across the province.

According to the Ontario government’s website, the fund “will improve digital resources and services in provincially funded public and First Nation public libraries to better connect people to web-based information and opportunities.”

Darla Fraser, Orangeville’s Chief Librarian, says they still need to figure out what to spend the funds on. “There’ a number of possibilities we’re looking into,” and they have to commit to the funds by the end of March 2018.

She told the Citizen some of the options include equipment to convert VHS or eight-millimeter type tapes to digital format. “Some of that equipment we’re looking to identify items that the public may not have in their home, but we could provide, so they can use it here as a resource.”

Other options include a scanner to digitize hard copy photos into images, hardware and software to support digital resources, tablets, computers, and laptops. “We need to get some costing, the ideas are one thing,” she explained.

Ms. Fraser said she is gathering input from staff to get the “minimum expenditure for maximum community benefit.”

She added it’s hard with technology, due to constant upgrades, and ever-changing usage. “It often is just the beginning of an investment.”

She said staff is excited about the fund, as it’s great assistance for the library, because usually the majority of funds are for staff and books, but is nice for the government acknowledge the needs of libraries. “This is over and above what we had in our budget, what we’ve been allocated through. It’s incredibly helpful.”

The library this past Saturday (Dec. 2) hosted Words the Orangeville Way (WOW).

The event saw Michael Redhill and Nicolas Billon, a Scotiabank Giller Prize winning novelist and Governor General Award winning dramatist respectively, conversed with Harry Posner, Dufferin County’s Poet Laureate, on their recent literary works.

“We’re thrilled to bring such prominent award-winning writers to Orangeville,” said Ms. Fraser.

Those in attendance got to ask questions to the literalists, with Redhill and Billon signing books as well.

Mr. Redhill won for his novel “Bellevue Square.” He’s also published poetry, plays, and crime novels under the name Inger Ash Wolfe.

Mr. Billon has written for theatre, film, and television, and has won over a dozen awards for his work, including “Fault Lines.”

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