Contrary to recently-raised concerns, the Prince George Public Library board of directors has no plans to close the Nechako branch, board chair Anne George said Tuesday.
The PGPL is cooperating with the city on carrying out a cost-benefit analysis following on the core review process, but that is as far as it goes, according to George.
"They give us a generous grant every year and we are pleased to open our books to them," she said. "We use this as an opportunity to show them the fantastic work being done at the library."
Asked if the PGPL is in danger of seeing its funding reduced, George said there is "no indication of that whatsoever."
Provincial legislation gives the PGPL board sole discretion over how funds are spent, including those received from the city, George said. Only the board can make operational decisions, which includes closures and hours of service.
And while the city is a prime source, George said the PGPL also gets funding from the Fraser-Fort George Regional District, the provincial government and other sources, including revenue from fines.
George's statements, as well as a letter to The Citizen, were made in response to concerns raised publicly and in the local media that the Nechako branch is on the chopping block. The concerns are unfounded, George said.
"Two or three times it's come out that the Nechako branch may be closing and we just have been getting too many questions from our customers and our staff - what's that about - and we're happy to proceed as usual," George said. "That's not on our books right now, to do anything differently."
The board is in the beginning stages of a search for a new chief librarian after Allan Wilson left PGPL to take over as chief librarian at the University of Northern British Columbia at the start of this month. A hiring committee was recently struck and will be having a meeting at the end of this month to start working out a process.
Janet Marren, previously the PGPL public service manager, is now the acting chief librarian.
"Janet's been around for a long time, she's been doing an excellent job and she was really second-in-command to Allan so we're happy to have her and her history and her expertise till we work on a longer term plan," George said.
In 2011, Wilson made $107,200 according to a list of city employees earning $75,000 or more. His name was not included in the 2012 list.