When you go to any library, you are likely to see seniors sitting, relaxing and reading. However, Barrie has one of the lowest number of libraries per capita in Ontario. Kingston Frontenac Public Library system which serves around 150,000 people has 17 branches. On the other hand, the Barrie Public library system that serves the Barrie, Oro-Medonte and Midland area with more than 170,000 people has only two branches.
Another issue with the Barrie library system is the accessibility. During the meeting, Colin Green of the Gilbert Center raised an issue about the library identification system that can work against homeless populations and LGBTQ individuals. Barrie Public Library does not have a solution to address the issue but Alison Schroeder, Director of Customer Experience at Barrie Public Library, offered to work with Green to make sure all Barrie residents have access to libraries.
There were two presentations from the Barrie Public Library during this week’s Seniors Advisory Committee Meeting. And the meeting ended with updates from committee members.
Schroeder shared what are different services offered at two locations. Despite some shortcomings, the library system has great reviews and has evolved to better serve the needs of the community during the pandemic. Director of Business and Development, Chris Vanderkruys, shared interesting statistics about Barrie demographics.
At the end there were updates from employees and volunteers. And very informative and interesting discussions on the Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) seen among seniors with eyesight issues and challenges in providing better long term care in Barrie and Canada.
General population needs more education about various issues seniors are facing due to their age and financial condition.