Library cuts astounding – FRPL media release

Library cuts astounding

 REGINA, SK — Members of the Friends of the Regina Public Library were astounded by the Saskatchewan government’s recent announcement of budget cuts to city and regional libraries.

The cut to Regina Public Library was significant – about 3% of the budget. The cuts to the regional library systems will have a devastating impact on those libraries.

What is most dismaying is the attitude of the Saskatchewan Minister of Education, who in his remarks seemed to have a complete lack of understanding of the value of libraries as learning centres and places for community and as centres for the access to information and public discourse which are a cornerstone of our democracy; and conveyed a dismissive attitude to the wonderful legacy of libraries and the connections between libraries that has been built up in Saskatchewan, which is admired all across Canada.

Libraries are a destination location providing not only books, DVD’s and many other resources, they are also a place of quiet for study for children and adults and a technology hub for people who do not have ready access to computers and the Internet elsewhere. People study for school or training and do research for work and business opportunities. They access materials that stimulate imagination and creativity. Newcomers to Canada can find resources, in many languages. Libraries today have many ways of accommodating the requirements of people with challenges in seeing, hearing and mobility. Libraries have resources and programs responding to Indigenous culture. Small local libraries, built up often by the pioneering efforts of rural women, are an important part of the community fabric in small towns throughout the province. As well, northern communities need these valued resources to build hope for the youth of this province.

FRPL calls upon the government to rescind these cuts. In a time of social change in this province, libraries are too important of a resource to be cutting their budgets and callously dismissing their value.  The rapid and strong response to this action shows the high value the people of Saskatchewan put in their libraries.

FRPL is encouraging people to write to their MLA, sign the two petitions that are being sent to the provincial government, and participate in events such as the province-wide read-in to be held on April 7.

FRPL media rel re prov cuts Mar 30, 2017 – final

Responses to budget cuts

Reaction to the drastic unexpected cuts to library budgets has been widespread.

Saskatchewan Library Association media release

http://saskla.ca/saskatchewan-library-association-voices-concern-about-funding-cuts-to-libraries

 

Saskatchewan Library Trustees Association response

http://slta.ca/

 

CUPE media release

https://sk.cupe.ca/2017/03/23/libraries-left-feeling-the-pain-after-latest-sask-party-budget/

 

Journalism School article

http://jschool.ca/in-depth/special-reports/2017-provincial-budget/1696-libraries-take-a-hit-as-sask-government-struggles-to-balance-the-books-2

 

Leader-Post article

http://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/provincial-cuts-absolutely-devastating-to-regional-libraries

 

CTV news report

http://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/library-cuts-a-huge-blow-for-wapiti-region-chair-says-1.3340332

 

Global news report

http://globalnews.ca/news/3329088/provincial-budget-sees-cuts-to-regina-libraries-u-of-r-funding/

More actions to save libraries

A rally was held in Regina on March 25.

http://canadians.org/blog/regina-chapter-rallies-defence-public-libraries

More actions to save libraries are being brought forward at the “Save Saskatchewan Libraries” website.

http://savesasklibraries.ca/take-action/

Suggestions include:

  • writing to your MLA
  • writing letters to the editor
  • participating in read-ins at MLA’s offices. April 7 is planned as a major day for read-ins

 

Also take a look at and sign up for the “Support Our Saskatchewan Libraries” Facebook group. As of March 28, less than a week after the budget cuts were announced, it already has 4,369 members!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1863999523837974/

The “Vote to Save Saskatchewan Libraries” Facebook page has information and updates about the petition to force a referendum on provincial library funding

https://www.facebook.com/librarypetition/

And a Twitter address has been set up

Congratulations to all those who have worked so quickly to design the two petitions, set up the Facebook group, Facebook page and website and organize the rally!

VOTE Saskatchewan Libraries – referendum petition

The signing of this petition by at least 15% of Saskatchewan voters will legally force the provincial government to hold a referendum asking this question:

Should the Government of Saskatchewan maintain provincial funding for public libraries in Saskatchewan at least at 2016 levels, indexed for inflation?

VOTE Library Petition

Unlike the municipal elections where referendum-gathering has a time limit, there is no time limit on when the signatures have to be gathered. The sooner the better, of course.

The instructions for signing the petition are specific and need to be followed so that the petition is legally binding. Details about how the original signed copies are to be collected are in the following instructions.

VOTE Library Petition signing instructions

People can sign this petition AND the other petition (Save Sask Libraries).

Frequently Asked Questions about the referendum petition

VOTE Petition FAQs

Check out the “Vote to Save Saskatchewan Libraries” Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/librarypetition/

 

Save Sask Libraries Petition

This petition asks the following of the provincial government

• Renew its commitment to the invaluable programming, education opportunities, and public spaces our libraries provide across this province, and restore the $4.8 million in funding for public libraries that was cut in the 2017-2018 budget.

Petition_Libraries_2017_03_24

This petition can be filled out and given to the Opposition Party (NDP) MLA offices. See these instructions to make sure the petitions are properly filled out.

Save Sask Libraries petition instructions Mar 28, 2017

Signed pages will be put forward in the Legislature daily..

Major library funding cuts in Saskatchewan

In its recent budget the Saskatchewan government announced it will provide the following, which in fact amounts to huge budget cuts for city and regional libraries.

$3.5 million in operating funding for libraries:
– funding for Pahkisimon Nuye?áh in Northern Saskatchewan remains consistent with 2016‐17 levels at $974,000;
– the seven regional library systems will receive $2.5 million in operating funding, a decrease of $3.5 million; and,
– municipal library funding for Regina and Saskatoon Public Libraries will be eliminated, a reduction of $1.3 million.
http://finance.gov.sk.ca/budget17-18/BG-Education2017-18.pdf
CBC article
Province Cuts Money For Libraries
The Education Minister says that Saskatchewan has too many libraries

Prairie History Room survey

 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PHRsurvey2017

These are the questions – please go to the website to fill them out.

This survey seeks to understand today’s Prairie History Room users and their needs. The results will inform how we plan and implement future projects, and adapt to the digital age.

We would like to gain insight on how to retain our valued regular customers, while attracting newcomers interested in knowing more about our past, by creating a flexible and welcoming space.

Help us by filling out this survey. Tell us what you think could be improved and what you enjoy the most about the PHR and its specialized collection.

Your responses will be kept anonymous.

1. Is this your first visit to the Prairie History Room?

Yes
No

2. If this is not your first visit to the Prairie History Room, how often do you visit?

Daily
Several times a week
At least once a week
Several times a month

A few times a month
Several times a year
A few times a year

3. What brings you to the Prairie History Room? (Select all that apply)

Genealogy (Family History)

Personal interest

Academic research: high school

Academic research: post-secondary

Academic research: professional
Other (please specify)

4. What type of material(s) did you use during your visit? (Select all that apply)

City Directory

Obituary

Map

Community History

Ancestry Database

Reference Book

 Microfilm

Microfiche
Other (please specify)

5. What additional services or materials would improve your experience using the Prairie History Collection? Please explain.

6. Where else do you plan on conducting your research? (Select all that apply)

City of Regina Archives

Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Genealogical Society Research Library

Saskatchewan Legislative Library

University of Regina Archives and Special Collections
Other (please specify)

7. Did you receive assistance from library staff during your visit to the Prairie History Room?

Yes, from the Prairie History Librarian
Yes, from Reference Staff
 No, I did not know this service was provided
No, I did not require assistance
Comments:

8. Additional comments: