The City of Swift Current has pivoted its stance on the Chinook Regional Library (CRL).
It was determined last night at the regular Swift Current city council meeting that the City would begin "building collaborative relationships within the Chinook Regional Library system".
It also decided to pursue evaluation and progress under the new Executive Director of the CRL.
Ryan Switzer is both a city council member, as well as a board member for CRL. On that board, he acts as a City representative.
"There's some new leadership in charge and some people who really have the best interests of the region at heart there," said Switzer.
One of the members being credited with bringing about the most change by Switzer was the new CRL Executive Director, Jake Marion.
Marion was brought into the role in August of this year. Already, he is being credited with having rekindled what only a year ago were the dying embers of the CRL relationship with the City.
Switzer was able to highlight how Marion has presented plans that will take into consideration the City's needs, as well as the surrounding municipalities within the library system.
"He knows tons about libraries, the workings of the library, how they work with the provincial system, how funding happens, building relationships and such," said Switzer. "We just have fundamentally sound leadership [with him]."
Last year, the City began pursuing an exit from the CRL. It was felt that there was a lack of need being met in order to continue being a part of the existing system. With that, the idea of leaving the CRL and creating a Municipal Library was being felt out by the City.
After a public outcry of support for remaining in the existing system and a host of changes at the CRL, it seems that Swift Current will be open to discussing a more cooperative and fair partnership.
Switzer is of the belief that in the next six months, the relationship has the chance to flourish not only in Swift Current but also in the other member communities in the CRL.
"I think a lot of the small towns will look forward to seeing things running really smoothly and organized in their small town libraries," said Switzer. "I know a lot of folks drive in from out of town to use the Swift Current library, and I imagine many will continue to do so, but I think the small town libraries can look forward to some elevated service levels as well and consistent hours of operation, and just things being looked after in a very organized manner."
For now, time will tell if this turnabout in relations will continue, or if things will revert to a standoff. The City of Swift Current is going to try and build a good relationship with the CRL and will leave the idea of a municipal library to rest for the time being.
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