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
A rally was held in Regina on March 25.
More actions to save libraries are being brought forward at the “Save Saskatchewan Libraries” website.
- 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!
The “Vote to Save Saskatchewan Libraries” Facebook page has information and updates about the petition to force a referendum on provincial library funding
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!
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
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.
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..
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.
Province Cuts Money For Libraries
The Education Minister says that Saskatchewan has too many libraries
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