Tag Archives: libraries

History of RPL book launch Oct 28

Biblio Files: A History of the Regina Public Library will be launched on Saturday October 28 at 3 pm at the Central Library in Regina.

Sign up here for the publisher University of Regina Press’ Facebook event page

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FRPL AGM

FRPL AGM Sat Oct 21, 2017, 1:30 PM, Artful Dodger, 1631 11th Avenue. It’s been a significant year for libraries in the province. Topics include: Central Library, Prairie History Room, new Albert Library, RPL Strategic Plan, Provincial library funding, FRPL Events, History Book launch

Two petitions to sign

1. The petition calling for funding cut-backs has regularly been presented in the legislature by MLA Carla Beck.  A copy can be downloaded here https://savesasklibraries.ca/action-centre    Petition_Libraries_2017_03_24    Save Sask Libraries petition instructions Mar 28, 2017

2. The petition calling for a referendum on restoring library funding is well on its way to getting the 125,000 signatures required to legally force a referendum. See the website at http://www.votelibrarypetition.ca/   Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/librarypetition/

VOTE Library Petition  VOTE Petition FAQs   VOTE Library Petition signing instructions

Volunteers are need to assist in this process by collecting signatures at public events.

Update on budget cut action

Thanks to library supporters for all the letter-writing, phone calls, petition signing and attending events. The government is now in the process of reviewing its budget on library funding! There may be Cabinet meetings concerning the budget this weekend – so keep on contacting your MLA!

1. The two RPL sessions on how the budget cuts would affect services in Regina and province-wide were very well attended. Information about the situation affecting the RPL and provincial library services is located at https://www.reginalibrary.ca/about/in-the-media

2. The Saskatchewan Library Association has the RPL information, plus other facts, and a good updated list of items that have been in the media. https://www.reginalibrary.ca/about/in-the-media

3. The Saskatchewan Library Trustees’ Association also has a position statement, media reports, and responses to the budget cuts from across Canada. http://slta.ca/

4. The movement across Saskatchewan is highlighted on the Save Saskatchewan Libraries (formerly Support Our Saskatchewan Libraries) Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1863999523837974/

5. Actions being taken are at the website https://savesasklibraries.ca/news/

“Drop Everything and Read” events April 7

On Friday April 7 at 12 noon, people from around the province are gathering at the offices of MLAs to show their support for libraries.

https://savesasklibraries.ca/2017/03/25/drop-everything-and-read-support-of-your-local-library/

Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/114435322428072/

RPL response to cuts

“Regina Public Library concerned cuts will hurt customers” April 3, 2017  RPLConcernedaboutcuts1 http://www.reginalibrary.ca/blogs/media/blogs/press/RPLConcernedaboutcuts1.pdf

“Cost-cutting forces closure of borders between libraries” April 4, 2017 BordersclosedbetweenSKlibrarysystems  http:/”Cost/www.reginalibrary.ca/blogs/media/blogs/press/BordersclosedbetweenSKlibrarysystems.pdf

“Regina Public Library not requesting mill rate increase”  April 6, 2017  RPLrevised2017budget1

http://www.reginalibrary.ca/blogs/media/blogs/press/RPLrevised2017budget1.pdf

 

Advocates continue fight

Advocates continue fight despite minister’s suggestion libraries on the decline

REGINA, SASK : April 2, 2017 - Joanne Havelock, chair of the Friends of the Regina Public Library, sits on the steps of Connaught Library. Friends of the Regina Public Library are among many groups and citizens around the province trying to press the provincial government to rescind the cuts announced in the provincial budget. MICHAEL BELL / Regina Leader-Post.
REGINA, SASK : April 2, 2017 – Joanne Havelock, chair of the Friends of the Regina Public Library, sits on the steps of Connaught Library. Friends of the Regina Public Library are among many groups and citizens around the province trying to press the provincial government to rescind the cuts announced in the provincial budget. MICHAEL BELL / Regina Leader-Post. Michael Bell / Regina Leader-Post

From petitions and letter-writing campaigns to phone calls and reading rallies — supporters of the province’s libraries are keeping up the pressure in hopes the Saskatchewan Party government will rewrite its chapter on funding cuts.

“It’s going to devastate our library system,” Christine Freethy said Sunday. A resident of Rabbit Lake near North Battleford, Freethy and her friend Sarah Morden, a librarian who lives in Saskatoon, founded Save Sask Libraries. They launched the Facebook group Supporting Saskatchewan’s Public Libraries, which has grown to some 4,000 members, and created the website www.savesasklibraries.ca, which includes a letter-writing tool and paper petition drive.

“We didn’t want it to be a place of discussion. We wanted it to be a place for focus with their actions,” explained Freethy, who is a volunteer board member with the Medstead Public Library.

On April 7, library advocates are planning province-wide action with “Drop Everything and Read,” encouraging people to gather at their MLA offices, read a book and call on the government to reconsider its cuts. Several petitions are also circulating, and there’s talk of pressing for a referendum.

The provincial budget eliminated funding grants to public libraries in Regina and Saskatoon, and cut operating funds for regional libraries by $3.5 million, meaning a loss of about 50 to 60 per cent. For example, under preliminary estimates released by the Ministry of Education, Lakeland Library Region — in which Freethy’s library is located — would see its funding grant potentially fall to $345,000 as compared to the $814,120 it got last year. Information to calculate grants isn’t due at the ministry until May, so numbers at this point are estimates.

Education Minister Don Morgan was on the defensive in the legislature last week as the NDP’s Carla Beck presented several petitions opposing the cuts. Morgan said the province has too many libraries as compared to Alberta and Manitoba, suggested municipalities and schools could share libraries, argued the library system needs to adjust given society’s shift to new technology, and also cited figures for falling library card numbers and items checked out since a decade ago.

“Difficult decisions had to be made in order to meet the fiscal challenges that we’re facing,” Morgan told the legislature.

If change is needed, “cutting the library system off at the knees is not a planned response to the concept that there’s too many libraries, said Freethy, adding consolidation requires time to study and plan. “How will they replace the services offered by these libraries in rural Saskatchewan,” she said. For example, in rural areas where Internet service can be unduly expensive or non-existent, people rely on their libraries for access. She added that cards may be down — because of consolidation under a new computer system — but not library users.

Calling the cuts “astounding,” Joanne Havelock, a member of the Friends of the Regina Public Library, also questioned Morgan’s numbers and observations. She noted it’s not so unusual we might have more small-town libraries given the province’s distances.

But like Freethy, Havelock believes Morgan is also missing the point. “Libraries aren’t just about the number of cards or the number of books taken out. They’re learning centres … They’re safe places for young people to go and study,” she said.

“They all create a sense of community and inclusion for people,” Havelock added. “And that has value.”

bpacholik@postmedia.com

Preliminary estimates for cuts to regional library systems:

Regional libraries                            Total revenue 2015     Provincial grant 2016       Est. grant 2017

Chinook (Swift Current)                     $1,698,448                        $664,959                             $276,000

Lakeland (North Battleford)              $2,176,179                         $814,120                              $345,000

Palliser (Moose Jaw)                            $2,446,253                       $686,812                              $286,000

Parkland (Yorkton)                               $2,210,091                        $890,613                             $366,000

Southeast  (Weyburn)                           $2,823,470                       $961,724                              $403,000

Wapiti  (Prince Albert)                          $2,850,200                      $1,073,119                            $443,000

Wheatland  (Saskatoon)                        $1,798,509                       $930,653                              $403,000

*Grants to the seven regional library systems are calculated on the basis of a funding formula. Information needed to calculate individual grants is due in may, so the 2017 amounts are estimates only.

*Total revenue is for 2015 since that’s the most current figure available.

*Funding for Pahkisimon Nuye-ah (northern library system) for 2017 remains consistent with 2016 levels of $874,000, plus an additional $100,000 single integrated library system supplement.

Source: Saskatchewan Ministry of Education