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‘I am heartbroken’: Oyama, B.C. residents say library closure will mean the loss of a community hub


It’s being seen as an enormous blow to a small neighborhood in Lake Nation, B.C.

Residents in Oyama, a Lake Nation neighbourhood, are involved in regards to the deliberate closure of the native library department.

The Okanagan Regional Library is shutting down the Oyama department, arguing the cash will probably be higher spent increasing companies on the different Lake Nation library department.

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Nonetheless, involved residents say expanded companies elsewhere received’t make up for the lack of their native department.

“I’m heartbroken,” stated Oyama resident Bridget Ross in regards to the deliberate closure.

“After we heard it was actually sudden and, to be trustworthy, it was crushing. This library has meant the world to us, to my household, to my youngsters. They grew up right here.”

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The Oyama department has meant so much to many individuals within the small neighborhood.

“My dad and mom, as they grew to become aged, had been home-bound and relied on buddies to pop by [the library]. [They] had a really shut phone relationship with the librarian. It was like a lifeline to them,” stated Oyama resident Lani Stait.

Residents say that if the doorways of the Oyama department shut on the finish of October, as deliberate, they’ll be dropping not only a library, but in addition a neighborhood hub.

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“It’s such a bit coronary heart of our neighborhood,” stated Oyama resident Katharine Russell.

“It’s a rising neighborhood. It’s so demoralizing to have this free useful resource taken away, particularly in the course of COVID. You’ve got so many extra issues which you could’t do or you’ll be able to’t afford to do and it’s free, it’s right here, it’s such an exquisite a part of our neighborhood. To see it go away is admittedly disheartening.”

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The Okanagan Regional Libary stated it’s closing the Oyama department to supply higher service for a wider variety of individuals, as closing the Oyama location will enable the library to broaden working hours at its different Lake Nation location within the neighbouring neighborhood of Winfield.

“Closing a library will not be a simple resolution,” stated Michal Utko, the Okanagan Regional Library’s advertising and communications director.

“It wasn’t a dialog about whether or not we should always hold the library closed or open. It was about how we used the funds which are supplied to us in the easiest way doable.”

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Oyama residents say even with expanded working hours on the different Lake Nation department, the lack of their native library will nonetheless be a blow.

“They’re really taking away an important service for lots of the individuals right here,” stated Oyama resident Jillian Wong.

“We don’t have a number of assets. We don’t have a number of locations to collect. In such a small neighborhood it truly is necessary for us to have the ability to meet and join. I don’t know the way they will match that worth that’s already right here.”

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The library says it is going to nonetheless present some companies to Oyama after the bodily library department closes.

Workers from the primary Lake Nation department are anticipated to journey to Oyama to proceed with occasions like youngsters’s storytime.

“All of us empathize with the lack of the library, however the Okanagan Regional Library Board, administration, employees and I do really feel that it’s the absolute best resolution for a bigger inhabitants of Lake Nation individuals,” Utko stated.

Utko admits the Okanagan Regional Library didn’t seek the advice of residents in regards to the deliberate closure.

“Proper from the start we knew that Oyama residents and the Oyama neighborhood wouldn’t help the closure of the department so we felt like public session was not going to be part of our course of, ” Utko stated.

“As I discussed it was a really troublesome resolution already as a result of we knew there was going to be a neighborhood affect, in order that’s why there was no public session.”

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Involved residents are hoping the library board will rethink the department closure.

Nonetheless, the library spokesperson stated the choice to close down the department is closing.

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The final working day for the Oyama library is scheduled to be Oct. 28.

The constructing that homes the library was just lately bought, however the brand new homeowners stated they’d hoped the library would keep.


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