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Kawartha Lakes libraries continue to be in demand in local communities

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes’ libraries are starting to see things start to normalize after a couple of years of the pandemic.

“2022 saw our performance indicators continue to steadily climb back to pre-Covid levels,” Kawartha Lakes library CEO Jamie Anderson told councillors during a recent City budget meeting.

Speaking about in-person visits, Mr. Anderson explained those are “still below the 2019 levels.” But, the library system has also seen the way it interacts with the community adapt during the pandemic.

“We have seen circulation and virtual interactions, and program attendance close to or surpassing our pre-Covid levels,” Mr. Anderson stated.

He noted over 29,000 people attended a library program in 2022, and the Dalton and Norland library branches “surpassed their previous best years” for program attendance.

“This really indicates to us the importance of library services in our rural and more remote communities,” Mr. Anderson said.

The local libraries are seeing increasing program usage from the public, with 26 percent of residents having attended a library program in 2022, which is up from 18 percent in 2014. The library board is targeting to increase that number to 30 percent this year.

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