NEWS RELEASE : Last days for provincial library survey
Wednesday January 23, 2019
REGINA, SK — Saskatchewan residents are being strongly encouraged to respond to the provincial survey on libraries. The survey will be open until January 25.
The survey offers opportunities to comment on a wide range of topics including funding, the one-card provincial library system, standards for library buildings, colocations with other services, how library boards operate and a review of The Public Libraries Act, 1996. “Indigenization” providing services on-reserve and programmes in other library locations is discussed. There is also an opportunity for people to write about their overall vision for their local library and for the provincial system as a whole.
The questionnaire is based on the Report of Saskatchewan Public Libraries Engagement comprised of meetings with library staff and trustees around the province. The report is one step in the provincial government following up on its promise to consult with the public after the province’s attempt to greatly reduce the provincial library budget in the spring of 2017 was met with widespread opposition. This support for libraries prompted the government to put its budget reduction on hold and promise public consultations.
“The questionnaire itself contains simple rankings for the importance of several issues and a space to fill in individual thoughts, so it is essentially a blank slate,” said Joanne Havelock, Chair of Friends of the Regina Public Library. “To make more sense and provide a strong response, people are advised to review the questions that were asked of the library administrators (listed in Appendix B) and the discussion of Themes in the report.”
The survey was announced on January 10, 2019 and thus was only available for 15 days, and is only available on-line.
“This is a very short window for people to hear about and respond to the survey. The survey reflects on issues concerning urban, rural and northern library users and people living on reserves, and opportunities for input should be including persons with disabilities,” stated Havelock. “It doesn’t include people who don’t have computer access. There should have been more promotion of the survey and the questions it is asking and opportunities to fill it in at library branches.”
“One of the recommendations is for a provincial library strategy”, said Havelock. “We hope that this survey is just a start in a process of the government obtaining feedback, sending draft recommendations out to the public, and getting further feedback. In addition to the survey, people are encouraged to send in their ideas to their library boards and to the Minister of Education.”
For more information contact:
Joanne Havelock: cell (306) 535-9570
Government of Saskatchewan “Report of Saskatchewan Public Libraries Engagement Survey” https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2019/january/10/libraries-report