The objectives of a public library are met in part through its material (including digital) collections: books and periodicals, newspapers and magazines, CDs and DVDs. 

In 2007, our library had 4.73 titles per person; in 2008 it dropped to 3.41 (close to average for comparable libraries). In 2011, the library holds only 2.64 titles per person.

By 2009, the library's collection of 87,558 titles was already 64% below the provincial average of 143,500 titles for municipalities our size (only the 2008 statistics are available online currently).  

In the 2011 Library budget, material acquisitions were flat-lined at 2010 levels--despite a population increase of approx. 2500-3000 new residents since the previous budget year. 

The problem is compounded by the rising costs of materials in the current year. In the 2011 Budget Plan (p. 234), the Library CEO notes:  "The cost of books and other materials is rising. Core collection item cost has increased by approximately 23% [over 2010]." Despite rising costs, we are spending less per person on material expenditures today than we did in 2006!
The accounting above should be compared with a somewhat different calculation reported to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, which shows a similar trend (2002 $90,617; 2005 $54,440; 2008 $105,928; no stats available from this source for 2009-2011).

Each of the sources above, despite their differences, indicate material expenditures per capita have been declining over many years. To flat-line material expenditures in 2011 at the 2010 level--despite a growing population--indicates that a crisis point has been reached.

(Source: W-S Public Library Annual Report 2014)

Research using e-resources in Whitchurch-Stouffville--in stark contrast to our sister communities above--is limited. In January 2011, the Whitchurch-Stouffville Library CEO was forced to cut a basic and significant database of e-resources (Knowledge Ontario, used by all of the libraries above; 5 cents per resident) from her 2011 budget in order to cover costs for the first new full-time position in a decade (see "Library Board Minutes," Jan. 13, 2011, p. 2).

If this is of concern to you as a resident of Whitchurch-Stouffville, please sign our petition and, esp. if you are a high school student, let the Mayor and your Councillor know if the collection is sufficient for your project research, and space sufficient for meeting.

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