Library Associations Speak Out Against Newfoundland Public Library Lay-Offs

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Library Associations in Canada are speaking out against the Provincial Government’s  cuts to the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Library system, particularly the Conservative government’s decision to target Professional Librarians and library support staff with lay-offs.

On April 4, the Atlantic Provinces Library Association (APLA) released a letter to Education Minister, Clyde Jackman, regarding the $1.2 million cut to Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries. APLA President, Lou Duggan, wrote to Jackman on behalf of the 110,000 registered library users who reside in his jurisdiction. Duggan stated that “APLA’s members are extremely concerned about the recent budget reductions that have caused a severe loss of staff positions” and hoped the Minister would reconsider his decision. Read APLA’s full statement.

The following day, the Canadian Library Association (CLA) publicly expressed their dismay at the budget cuts to Newfoundland and Labrador’s provincial library service. In a statement released by CLA Executive Director, Kelly Moore, it was noted that “In 2011-2012, 25% of the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador were registered public library users; each user borrowed an average of 15 items, and nearly half of them participated in the more than 10,000 programs offered by libraries. And more than 360,000 computer sessions were logged on the 550 public access computers provided through libraries across the province.”

CLA’s statement also pointed out that “a public library service is much more than a collection of materials: the materials are only of value when libraries are open for users to access them, and when professional staff are available to assess, acquire, and facilitate access to them.” CLA has sent the letter to Jackman and Premier Kathy Dunderdale. Read CLA’s full statement.

NLLA sincerely appreciates the support of its fellow library associations, and hopes that the Provincial government will take these statements into serious consideration. NLLA continues to urge the province to reconsider the lay-offs.

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