Transients gathering on the lawn at the Penticton Library was identified as a cause for concern in a recent survey. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Transients gathering on the lawn at the Penticton Library was identified as a cause for concern in a recent survey. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Traffic into Penticton Public Library slows, attributed to safety concerns

Foot traffic into the Penticton Public Library is down four per cent, according to a report found in the City of Penticton’s 2020 Corporate Business Plan, released last week.

According to the report (2020 Corporate Business Plan pg. 76), social issues and transients’ use of the space around the library has “created the impression in the community that the library is not a safe place to bring children.”

The library identified this as the cause of their decrease in traffic.

In their report, they explained that they are investigating STA training, as well as reviewing and revising their security procedures to help mitigate the problem.

Penticton RCMP confirmed that the area around the library, especially during the summer, is used by a large number of transient people. This use of space surrounding the library, they explained, has increased over the last few years.

This led to the hiring of security who have helped monitor the washroom area that, according to RCMP, was being abused.

However, the RCMP also said no serious incidents have occurred around the library, including no personal offences to the general public.

“I guess it just comes down to people’s perception, and in some cases I don’t blame those people for their perceptions, but the statistics as it stands right now wouldn’t show that the library is a hot spot of any kind at this point,” said Const. James Grandy.

The Western News previously reported that the Penticton Public Library was looking for feedback to ensure they are keeping up with the needs of the community.

Read more: Survey goes beyond the books at the Penticton Public Library

The results of the survey, completed between May and August 2019, included roughly 600 participants, about 90 per cent of whom live in Penticton. The other ten per cent who took part in the survey live in surrounding communities such as the Penticton Indian Band, West Bench and farther away.

Of the 569 who responded to the question, 337 individuals or families went to the library to use age-appropriate services for adults between the age of 31 and 64. Two hundred sixty one used services for seniors 65 and older, and 84 used services for school age children between five and eight years old.

Just 6.9 per cent of survey users use the library every day, while the largest majority, 50.5 per cent, use it on a weekly basis.

The library asked the public for suggestions on stock, programming and services, of which there was mixed response, with some very positive comments. Across the board, staff support was rated as excellent.

The overall security of the building was rated as mostly good, with 265 indicated security was good, while 139 voted excellent, 83 fair, 24 poor and 59 had no opinion on the matter.

When asked if they had any comments or suggestions about the facility, 189 individuals left just over 13 pages of responses.

Many expressed concerns about the number of transient people on the premises, and the amount of litter around the property. Some said they view it as an intimidating place and don’t feel safe bringing their families to the library or going there themselves.

Many others explained that they think it a shame the rear door was locked, as they always feel safe, and have never had an issue with the transient people on the grass outside. Others agreed and said solutions other than locking the door need to be found.

Several said they simply sign out a book and leave.

Others commended the library on making the most out of an existing space and “doing an awesome job, amidst (the) community’s social issues.”

Overall, 552 of 571 survey participants who answered the question would recommend using the Penticton Public Library.

To read the survey results in its entirety, including why patrons believe the library benefits the community, visit

What do you think? Write to us:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Owner Daren McWhinney is really excited about the new location of Angry Vegan which just opened up at 536 Main Street. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton’s Main Street turns into foodie heaven

Angry Vegan, Wild Ginger, Twisted Chopsticks and Gratify recently opened

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver will golf from sunrise to sunset to raise funds for ALS on June 29. (Submitted)
Golfing from sunrise to sunset in Oliver for ALS

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club have taken up the challenge June 29

Jann Arden will embark on Canada-wide tour Spring 2022 with a stop in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre on June 13. (Contributed)
Jann Arden coming to Penticton in 2022

The Jann Arden Live! tour has been rescheduled for 2022

A storm watch has been issued for the Okanagan, Kootenays and Columbia regions of B.C. (Calvin Dickson photo)
Another severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for thunderstorms that may produce strong wind gusts, hail and heavy rain

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Most Read