The Rural Municipality of De Salaberry is now down to one public library.
Reeve Darrel Curé says the Jolys Regional no longer has a location inside the St. Malo School.
“In the last little bit, the St. Malo library has been shut down, the books have been removed and those have been put in storage currently while they are doing upgrades on the school,” he reports. “St. Pierre (location) still remains in its place. Working with the Village of St. Pierre, the library board, we’re communicating very closely with the members of the province, our local MLA's, to try to encourage them to keep the facility in St. Pierre open.”
At this time, Curé encourages patrons of the St. Malo location to access the public library in St. Pierre.
“The Regional Library in St. Pierre will be the main hub,” he explains. “So, for the people from the surrounding areas, if they wish to access books, they will have to access them through St. Pierre until we can re-establish the one in St. Malo.”
In spring, the Red River Valley School Division served notice that the agreements for both branches are being terminated, effective December 21, 2022, in St. Malo and March 1, 2023, in St. Pierre. The reason that was given at that time was that the space would be needed by the schools to accommodate an anticipated increase in the school enrollments as well as the needs for additional space.
That announcement was made in March of this year, and by May, the province was petitioned by 1,500 people who want to save both library locations.
“We have been told optimistically that the St. Malo School will have room for us once the construction will be completed,” Curé says. “So, we will be seeing the library, or we should be seeing the library back in the school in St. Malo once construction is done.”
When the addition was announced in April, the timeline was for the 23,000 square foot addition to be completed for the fall of 2023.
Curé is hopeful the province will come through for the region and find a solution to keep the library open in St. Pierre.