Lincoln and Pelham Public Libraries merged on April 1, 2022



Lincoln and Pelham Public Libraries Merge Operations

Beginning April 1, 2022, two great libraries will become one. The Lincoln Pelham Public Library
will begin operations as one system – with its shared staffing complement providing excellent
services and resources throughout the Lincoln and Pelham area.

“As part of the Libraries in Niagara Cooperative, we have been sharing our collections for
years,” says Julie Andrews, the Chief Executive Officer of the newly amalgamated library
system, “this merger will allow us to share our services, resources and programs and our
excellent staff – who will continue to provide amazing service.”

Restructuring the organization will enable the new library system to spend more on front line
staffing and initiatives and less on administration. “Creating efficiencies is a benefit of joining
our library systems,” says Donna Burton, Library Board member, “and we will create some
exciting new staff positions through removing duplication.”

“We are excited to be able to focus on technology and our Makerspaces,” agrees Nicole Nolan,
Board member, “and our new Digital Strategies Librarian will offer expertise and help to
decrease the digital divide.”

The libraries officially join together on April 1, 2022 – no fooling.

For further information, please contact:
Julie Andrews
Chief Executive Officer
Lincoln Public Library

Amy Guilmette
Acting Chief Executive Officer
Pelham Public Library

Read on for a list of Frequently Asked Questions for the public.


What is a union library?
A union library is formed when two or more municipal councils make an agreement to combine their individual public libraries into one organization.

As with all public libraries, the new library will be governed by the Public Libraries Act.

What will the new library be called?
The new library will be called Lincoln Pelham Public Library (LPPL).

Why is a new library being formed?
Municipalities are always looking for ways to work together to best serve their residents. Over the past several years, the two libraries have forged many successful partnerships. Both Lincoln and Pelham have a shared catalogue of physical materials as members of the Libraries in Niagara Cooperative (LiNC). In 2022, both became fine free to reduce barriers to service for everyone. With this next step, the new library will provide our communities with greater access to materials, services, and expertise for the mutual benefit of all.
When will the new library be formed?
The new library agreement will come into effect on April 1, 2022. The complete process of merging the two systems is expected to take one to three years. In 2022, there will be a new website to keep our communities connected with collections, services, and programs.

What are the benefits of a union library?
By reducing administrative costs, this will allow for more funds for services and programs that directly benefit our communities.

What are the challenges of a union library?
The process of becoming a union library will be just that, a process. Our goal is to keep our communities informed about what is happening along the way.

Are existing staff going to lose jobs?
No. All current staff remain employed within the new system.

Who will be the CEO?
The new CEO will be appointed by the newly formed Board of Directors of the Lincoln Pelham Public Library. That said, both boards have recommended Julie Andrews, current CEO of Lincoln Public Library, to be the CEO/Chief Librarian of the new LPPL.

Will one municipality have more power than the other?
A public library is governed by a volunteer board. For 2022, the two existing library boards will form an interim board of 17 members. For 2023 – 2026, the library board will have eleven members. There will be one councillor appointed from each municipality. There will be six board members from Lincoln and five from Pelham. This split is based on the population of the two communities.


Do I need a new library card?
No. You can continue to use your current library card at any branch or participating LiNC library. Library cards will need to be renewed on an annual basis.

Anyone can get a free library card online and at any of the four branches.

I have two cards: one from each library. Which should I use?
Library cards need to be renewed every year. If you currently have a card for Lincoln and a card from Pelham, once one card expires, you only need to use one moving forward.

How will this affect using library apps (Libby, hoopla)?
You can continue to access the same free content with your library card. In fact, later this spring, there will be more digital offerings available to cardholders in both municipalities as a result of the merger.

How many branches will there be?
There will be four branches in the new system, two in each municipality:

Fleming Branch (Beamsville)
Rittenhouse Branch (Vineland)
Fonthill Branch (Fonthill)
Maple Acre Branch (Fenwick)

Anyone can visit any branch to borrow and return materials. Materials can also be requested for pickup at any location.

Will more branches be added?
As populations increase and our communities grow, there will be consideration of adding new service points as needed. In the next few years, there are planned renovations for the Rittenhouse Branch in Vineland and the Fonthill Branch in Fonthill.

Will service hours change?
Hours of operation are based on the needs of the community where each branch is located. Currently, there are no plans to make changes to existing hours at the four locations.

Will there be more programs?
Yes! One of the benefits of the new library is more specialized staff. Watch for more makerspace programs and outreach into our communities this summer.

In-person programs will be available at different branches for all ages. Virtual programs will be available as well.


How will my tax dollars support the new library?
With an individual library, the majority of its funding comes from the municipality through tax dollars.

For the new library, the Town of Lincoln will provide 58 percent of the operating budget. The Town of Pelham will provide the remaining 42 percent. This divide is based on the respective population of each community.

Budgets are presented to Council on an annual basis for consideration and approval. The new library will follow this same process by presenting to Council in each municipality.

What happens to donations made to the new library?
As always, support from our communities is greatly appreciated. Donations can be made by cash, cheque, or online through Canada Helps. If you’d like to donate to a specific branch or project, the funds will be applied as requested.