A new page is being turned at the Chinook Regional Library, leading to a new chapter in Swift Current's ongoing library considerations.
With a change in leadership comes a change in outlook, which may be prompting the City of Swift Current to reconsider some initial plans to separate the municipal library in favour of remaining in the Chinook Regional Library system.
The City of Swift Current had been concerned about paying more than its fair share for the library system. This led to a breakdown in relations, prompting the idea that a fully City-run library would be the better path forward.
Now, with new leadership coming, and a fresh growth of trust and understanding blooming between the City and Chinook, there may be a chance to salvage the ongoing relationship.
Ryan Switzer, city councillor and appointed council representation on the local Swift Current Library Board and Chinook Regional Library Board, is seeing a lot of positives in recent weeks, prompting a reinvigorated enthusiasm for the existing system.
"It's a very exciting time," said Switzer. "We're excited to announce that we have a new Executive Director, who's done some great work in the Lakeland Regional Library, up north."
Stepping into the Executive Director role is Jake Marion, who has a glowing background in policy creation, budgeting, and other aspects important to running a successful library.
"He has a very good handle on what libraries need to do to succeed going forward," said Switzer. "We're confident that Jake is the guy to lead the regional library into the future."
Previously, the City of Swift Current had been idling around plans for a Municipal Library. While the City is still open to the idea, they have taken this time of change to start reconsidering some of their stances.
The implementation of a City-run library would mean Swift Current would no longer be a member of the Chinook Regional Library system, which sees many communities sharing books and resources.
Swift Current is one of the main hubs for the regional library, and its splitting from the system would have left a hole in the structure, hampering the remaining branches as they found ways to compensate for the resources Swift Current provided.
Swift Current, on the other hand, would be responsible for the entire structure that the regional library offers. The City would have to ensure resources, without the already established foundation that Chinook offers.
"There are still conversations that are being had, but with new leadership in place at the executive director level of the Chinook Regional Library, things, I would say, are encouraging for Swift Current to come to the table and see if we can't find a way to stay within that regional library system," said Switzer.
For now, the air is refreshed between the two entities. Talks will need to continue, but it seems there is still a chance for cooperation to continue between the City of Swift Current and the Chinook Regional Library.
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