Two years ago Elmwood’s old library was condemned and demolished and the community lost a valuable resource.
Now, the Municipality of West Grey is considering the re-establishment of a library branch there, but in order to do they need Brockton‘s help.
Brockton is being asked to provide one time capital funding towards the provision of a permanent building to serve as the Elmwood Public Library.
This library would serve as a branch of the West Grey Public Library system.
Elmwood is unique in the fact that it straddles the County line which means half of the hamlet is in West Grey and the other half in Brockton.
Brockton Deputy Mayor Dan Gieurszak is quite open to the idea.
He says it is important Brockton support its rural communities to ensure they enjoy the same services of Walkerton when possible.
Councillor Dean Leifso agrees. He grew up using the former Elmwood Library, calling it a valuable education resource.
Since the demolition of the old 1890’s library, the basement in St. John’s Lutheran Church has been converted into an Elmwood Resources Centre for a few hours, two days a week to help fill the void.
While this is helpful, it is not the same as having an actual library for the community to use.
West Grey is considering a few options including : the construction of a new building or the purchase of a used building to move on-site.
Another potential option is the use of a “remote-Locker”, being a self-serve device that would provide many of the services typically provided by a library.
Gieurszak says Brockton now needs to sit down with West Grey and go over the plans, get price estimates and ensure that the library will be a full resource centre for the community.
Leifso adds rural libraries play a vital role in the community and as such municipalities must do what they can to protect and preserve them.