Morewood, St. Andrews and Dalkeith Library branches to close

MOREWOOD — The Morewood, St. Andrews West and Dalkeith libraries are slated to close “on or before Sept. 3,” following a July 29 decision of the SDG Library Board.

The Board says that Counties Council has directed it to offer “a more equitable distribution of hours of operation across local municipalities, and limit operations at under-used and/or inappropriate locations.” Closing those three branches will help to meet strategic goals and improve service “by better aligning resources where they will be more effectively used,” according to the Board’s press release.

In Dalkeith, where the Board has experienced greater public resistance to service reductions, the defunct branch site will have a book return box and continue to offer public Internet computer stations “provided volunteers would be willing to monitor access and schedule hours of operation.”

The upcoming closures follow this year’s aborted service reduction at the three branches, when the Board cut hours of operation in March, only to reverse itself six weeks later.

The latest move arises from concerns raised at Counties Council, the largest single funder of the local library system. At a May 24 meeting, Council asked that the Library Board review current facilities and services.

On June 9, the Board began deliberating on a number of options to address Council’s key concerns, arriving at the closure decision for the affected branches July 29.

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