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The current library facility is 13,121 square feet in size (plus shared municipal space, total 14,215).

A public library needs space for materials, individual study space, community meeting rooms, and for access to technology and digital content.

Provincial guidelines suggest that the minimum gross square footage for a central, stand-alone library building in Ontario, serving between 35,000 and 75,000 residents, should be 65,625 sq. ft. (Source: Southern Ontario Library Services, Library Dev. Guide, App. 4). That is five times larger than the current library, or the size of our new Canadian Tire Store--with Garden Centre! Other lesser standards (American Library Association) recommend 0.6 sq.ft. per capita, or 23,190 sq.ft. for our 2011 pop.; 33,480 sq.ft. for the town's projected 2021 pop. of 55,800; 36,360 sq. ft. for the 2031 pop. projection of 60,600).

Our library was built in 2001 with a population 22,859 (x 0.6 sq.ft. =13,715 sq. ft. - actual: 13,121 sq.ft.; NB: not built for growth). In 2015, the population of Whitchurch-Stouffville was 46,385The Town plans to grow the population to 55,800 residents by 2021 and 59,200 in 2026 (pdf).

In 2006, the infrastructure for rapid population growth was not yet in place--due to short-term "glitches," according to the Mayor. The 2007 Capital Forecast for 2008-2011 (p. 29; written 2006) ear-marked funds for a Library expansion in 2009 (originally planned for Ballantrae). In 2007, the Mayor was concerned about community expectations for library expansion. In 2008, it was postponed to 2010; in 2009 to 2012; in 2010 to 2014; and this has continued through to 2016 or 2017. This year the Mayor and Council have removed Library expansion from the agenda for their term of office completely, and speak now of the option for an expansion in 2015 (2011 Budget, pp. 230f., 241). Meanwhile, since submitting the 2008 budget in Fall '07, the Library CEO has been working with "short-term" solutions, while trying to accommodate on average 142 new library members each month since 2006. 

In her 2008 Budget Report (p.149; written 2007), the Library CEO laid out a Board action plan to "continue to enhance relations with Town Council to ensure that library needs are integrated into the Town's planning processes." Yet each year since 2007, Library needs have been pushed yet further into the future. This unresolved "glitch" in infrastructure preparedness has surely made the last five years the most challenging in the public library's 112 year history.

Since 2006, Town Council was aware that the library facility did not meet provincial space standards nor the Town's plans for growth. 
A 2014 proposal was rejected by a new mayor and town council; a far less ambitious and inspiring proposal is now (Oct. 2015) before Council.
If this is of concern to you, contact the Mayor and your Councillor know if the meeting and study space is sufficient for you.

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