Okanagan Regional Library - Vernon Branch. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Okanagan Regional Library - Vernon Branch. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Okanagan Regional Library welcomes new board members

The board is now turning attention to reopening curtailed services when COVID restrictions ease

The Okanagan Regional Library Board of Trustees is welcoming new members, having held elections for vacant positions at its Wednesday (Feb. 17) meeting.

The new trustees joining the ORL board are Louise Wallace Richmond of Salmon Arm, Todd York of Spallumcheen, Doug Findlater of West Kelowna and Subrina Monteith of the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District.

The board then elected its new chair, Sherry Philpott-Adhikary, who is serving her sixth year on the board and is the former ORL vice-chair and personnel committee chair.

In addition to her years on the library board and council, Philpott-Adhikary is retired from a career in education. She replaces outgoing Chair Karla Kozakevich, who had completed her eight-year maximum term on the board.

Findlater was elected as vice-chair while Monteith was tapped as personnel committee chair and liaison to the British Columbia Library Trustees Association. Oliver’s Davids Mattes will serve as finance committee chair and Kelowna’s Loyal Woolridge was elected to the policy and planning committee chair position.

READ MORE: Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

At Wednesday’s meeting, the board also received a recommendation to postpone work on a new strategic plan until ORL can recover from the effects of COVID-19 and re-assess communities’ needs in a post-COVID world.

Staff updates to the board outlined an increase in demand for e-Books and e-Audiobooks since the pandemic began, even during the months in which libraries were open for phyiscal lending.

Physical lending also returned to near-normal levels.

“Even with the lack of in-person programming and other COVID-19 restrictions, the physical circulation of books, magazines, and other materials has recovered back to 90 per cent of the previous year, where they totalled about 2.7 million circulations,” marketing director Michael Utko said in an ORL press release.

Physical ORL libraries seem to have been sorely missed by members of the public during COVID-related disruptions, according to Utko.

“There has been a lot of positive feedback librarians have received from patrons upon reopening library doors expressing how they so appreciate being able to visit their branches once again to browse and borrow.”

Other meeting highlights include staff members’ hope to gradually increase seating space and add services that have been curtailed during the pandemic, once COVID-19 restrictions start to ease.

The board also discussed a potential partnership with another non-profit organization to begin a Peer Navigator pilot program, which would place people who have recently transitioned from homelessness, addiction, or other disadvantaged situations to work in the downtown Kelowna Library branch to more easily support members of those disadvantaged communities in finding information and receiving services.

READ MORE: Okanagan reference librarians produce quirky podcast


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A Quebec dairy farmers’ group is calling on milk producers to stop feeding palm oil or its derivatives to livestock as controversy churns over how these supplements affect the consistency of butter. (THE CANADIAN PRESS - Jesse Johnston)
Poll: Care to spread your feelings on butter?

Reports of hard butter have rattled the Canadian dairy industry

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Princeton has seen a 22 per cent drop in drug overdose fatalities in 2020. (File photo)
While B.C. overdose deaths soar, Princeton made a recovery in 2020

Between 2018 and 2020, eight Princeton residents died of suspected overdose.

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Options available for medical care

Telephone and online methods allow people to contact doctors

Youth from Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and the Kootenays were able to dig into two evenings of online learning and connection through United Way Southern Interior B.C.’s <CODE>anagan program. (Submitted)<code> </code>
CODEanagan gives youth a chance to learn about technology

The youth, aged 12 to 21, built their own WordPress sites and developed blogging ideas

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Chase RCMP held two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight in their detachment’s cells on Feb. 6. (File Photo)
Chase RCMP hold two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight

The two seperate incidents took place less than an hour apart.

Kamloops Fire Rescue battled a landfill fire which belched toxic smoke into the air on Feb. 27. (City of Kamloops Photo)
Fire at Kamloops landfill sends thick black smoke into the air

Firefighters made slow progress on the fire throughout the morning.

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

(HelloKelowna - Twitter)
West Kelowna billboard bearing anti-vaccine messaging deemed misleading

Ad Standards investigated the billboard, noting a lack of evidence to support the messaging

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Summerland affordable housing proposal opposed

“For a building that will change the dynamic of a small town, I would have expected more discussion.”

Baldy Mountain Resort is temporarily closed following the death of a resort family member. Pictured above is a sunrise at the resort, Feb. 19, 2021. (Baldy Mountain Resort/Facebook)
Baldy Mountain ski hill closed following death of resort family member

Authorities currently investigating, resort set to reopen Sunday, Feb. 27

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Chase RCMP arrest intoxicated man running into highway traffic

The man was wanted on several warrents in Alberta; was held overnight but released

Most Read