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The Eleanor London CSL Public Library: Seeking to increase membership

The Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library is a jewel in our midst. There are not too many libraries in Quebec, perhaps even Canada, which can rival our size, collection and the wide array of activities we offer. I am proud to be the city councillor responsible for Library and Culture. We presently have 11,804 members – only 352 of which are non-residents and our goal is to increase those numbers.

At the April 9 city council meeting, we will adopt a new strategy related to our program free schedule. For the first time we will be distinguishing between members and non-members rather than residents and non-resident for courses and workshops presented by the library.

We will make changes as follows. For all courses and workshops, there will be one price for library members and another for non-members. For programs that have limitations on how many people can attend, we will begin to implement a policy of either free for library members and a cost for non-members, or a cost for library members and a higher cost for non-members. Book clubs, which limit attendance to 12, will be for library members only.


Why do we want to make these changes? Well first of all to encourage membership. We also wish to ensure that the budget and staff time are allocated to library programs to serve CSL residents, and in particular members. If non-residents attend, they are paying for the privilege.

We wish to ensure that where programs have limited capacity they are filled with library members and places are not taken up by non-members. Not all programs will be affected. Ticketed events such as concerts or play readings will have one ticket price for all for the time being.This will be a gradual implementation.

For example our series called Let’s Talk Movies with Film Librarian Steven Tomlinson, will be free for library members and $15 for non-members. A six-class course like Introduction to Computers and email will be $90 for members and $120 for non-members. A children`s program like Hippity Hop will be free for library members and $25 for non-members.

Residents of CSL only need to pay a one-time fee of $5 to become a member of our library. So our first objective is to have all of our residents come get their card. We just need some personal identification.

Blind-date-with-a-book2

Here is my message to non-residents. You will save a fortune with your membership, not having to go buy books at a store. Members can also take advantage of our online book service. And of course, there is the aforementioned discount for our courses, workshops and lectures. Just spend the night at Coles, Chapter`s or Indigo and see how the tab adds up. I know people who spend more money in one book store visit than the non-resident fees we charge.

Our annual non-resident fees are $175 for those 18 and over; $100 for seniors, teens 13 to 17 and children 12 and under. For $300, families of up to five people at the same address can become members. Montreal West already has a special package available for their residents: $100 per adult; $50 per senior (65 plus); $50 per child (under 18); and $200 per family. MoWesters must have a voucher from the Town.

Our library is open year-round, seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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