Library inter-loan services are back, but there are still questions about its funding.

CEO at Madawaska Valley Public Library Karen Filipkowski said the library looked over the loaning stats for last year when the cuts were announced. The library didn’t have a budget line for library loans but they had to continue that service. Filipkowski said she had to shave funding from different departments, mainly from the book acquisition budget. She also waited to see what other libraries were doing in the area.

The new plan states that libraries will get reimbursed for a part of what they use in postage. However, it won’t be the same levels of the funding they had before. Filipkowski says the system puts the cost of loans on the library lending the book.  Many libraries in the county are net lenders, meaning they pay out more to ship books. Those libraries have to make up that money within their own budgets. The Madawaska Valley is not a net lender. Filipkowski said approximately 66% of libraries suspended inter-library loan services because of this.

Filipkowski said the library is already running very lean, with funding coming from the government, fundraisers and volunteer-run book sales. On top of the lost funding, she says using the shipping tool from Canada Post adds time to each transaction, meaning staff has to work longer hours. She is unsure what the impact would be on shipping and staffing under the new system.

Still, Filipkowski says the postage reimbursement is a better solution than the alternative. She thanked local patrons who wrote letters in support of the Madawaska Valley Library to the government.