Port Severn Pilot Project
In July, 2009, the Library Board Port Severn Planning Team presented a case for the inclusion of a Port Severn Library in the Port Severn development plans to the Georgian Bay Township Corporate Services Committee. This presentation was followed by a meeting with the Mayor and Director of Administration.
The GBT Library Strategic Plan calls for studying and planning for a new library branch for Port Severn over the next few years.
At the same time the GBT Council is working on plans to develop the Port Severn community. Two aspects of the Council’s efforts would have major impacts on the work of the Library Board: the planned location of different community services/activities, including the library and the allocation of development fees to which the library needs access for a new Port Severn library.
In terms of location, the Library Board believes that a Port Severn library can play an important role in anchoring the geographic heart of the community and has asked Council to bear this in mind. Libraries are free community spaces and community builders. This is a longer term vision as the development of the community is still in its very early stages.
In the meantime, in the interests of bringing library services sooner rather than later to Port Severn and area residents, the Township has suggested that the Library Board consider introducing and building demand for library services in Port Severn in a temporary location. The Library Board is very much in favour of this approach. It allows us to introduce services, test them, study the community and develop services in response to community development.
The Library Board is experienced in responding to library needs of 2 very different communities: MacTier and Honey Harbour. Like them, Port Severn will be unique. All 3 communities contain populations with varied interests, albeit in different proportions, to which the library must respond: part-time residents of all classes; an incoming permanent middle class and the long-time permanent residents. Age trends vary among the communities and we expect age trends to change as the population grows. In this regard, Port Severn is still an unknown commodity.
We understand that the Township is applying for financial support for some community services infrastructure in Port Severn and that a temporary home for the library may be an ideal component of this infrastructure program.
The Port Severn Pilot Project opened for five hours on Saturdays commencing June 12, 2010 in the new Community Services Building. The library was well received by the community. In February, 2011, an additional five open hours on Wednesdays were approved by Council.