Ottawa public library asks for 4 extra employees for central library project

The Ottawa Public Library is asking for four additional full-time employees in its 2019 budget to handle the planning and fundraising for the new central public library the city is building with Library and Archives Canada.

2019 draft budget falls within 3% tax increase directed by council

The Ottawa Public Library's budget asks for four new employees for the $170-million central library project. (Danny Globerman/CBC)

The Ottawa Public Library is asking for four additional full-time employees in its 2019 budget to handle the planning and fundraising for the new central public library the city is building with Library and Archives Canada.

The draft budget tabled at the Ottawa Public Library Board late Tuesday afternoon falls within a three-per-cent property tax increase, which was the direction given by council in December.

The library's operating budget ask for 2019 is $2.2 million, and $745,000 of that is for four new employees to work on the new $192-million super library. Although the groundbreaking isn't planned for this year, a public engagement session is being launched shortly about the design of the joint federal-municipal facility. 

Last year, the board agreed that the library could potentially raise $10 to $15 million for the new central branch, but existing staff say they do not have the expertise to raise those kinds of funds. Hence, the library is asking for two employees to develop a fundraising strategy, at a cost of $235,000.

The other two employees would be more administrative, and would support the project manager "in the design and construction phase of the project through meeting attendance, issues resolution" and other duties and that are required by the federal government.

The library's capital-budget plan for 2019 totals $2 million, and includes an additional $400,000 for the $2-million renewal of the Rosemount Library that the board approved last year.

The library budget must be approved by the full council, which is expected in March.