NLLA would like to thank everyone who has responded so far to our “Take Action” form to voice your concerns about the provincial government cuts to the Newfoundland & Labrador Public Libraries.
To date, we have sent 196 emails to Education Minister, Clyde Jackman, as well as local MHAs, urging them to reconsider the devastating cuts and asserting that Professional Librarians and skilled support staff are essential to developing and providing resources and services that support communities in our province.
Some of the comments we’ve received include:
“We need to keep our Librarians and we also need the services they provide to our communities.”
“Is the beautiful, new, long sought library in Corner Brook going to be turned into a place with just books on shelves? I can hardly believe that this government does not see the value in a proper library, that is a library under the direction of a professional librarian.”
“The absence of a qualified librarian for Corner Brook is such a tragedy.”
“I am completely disappointed with our premier and all those in government who are willing to carry out her slash and burn form of governing our province.”
“I’m extremely disappointed by these cuts, and I don’t believe it speaks well of this government’s priorities that a service so absolutely essential to the health of our communities, present and future, has been gutted in this manner. Public libraries and their staff provide an important service to all communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, but in rural communities that service is vital to the residents. Cutbacks to these libraries will have a major impact on programs for pre-school children, school-age students, adults and seniors. The impact on literacy development, access to reading materials and accessibility to the world beyond the local community will be devastating to patrons who depend on the link the local library provides. Many rural libraries operate with a minimum number of hours and any reduction in hours will be detrimental to the services and programs that can be offered.”
“Newfoundland public libraries were already severely understaffed and underfunded prior to this budget. The fact that they are being targeted for further cuts is extremely disappointing.”
“Cutting librarians will have devastating impacts on our people and communities. Please please please reconsider.”
“Our librarians are integral community members who have for decades worked to instill a love of reading, learning, and knowledge in young members of the community. For a government that claims to be invested in securing a sustainable future at home for its young population, this seems like a wrongheaded decision. I would urge that you take action to help reestablish the posts of our librarians for the good of the province’s young people.”
“This is a devastating blow to the public libraries.”
“A library without a librarian? Make better decisions.”
“How do you expect a library to function as it should without a librarian? Libraries without librarians will definitely have a negative impact.”
“Libraries are the last bastion of true supplemental education our children have! The internet and ebooks are NO substitute! Please, PLEASE do not reduce accessibility to these vital resources!”
“In an age where literacy is so very important is more cuts to such a vital service the answer?! Instead of taking from the public it is time to invest in it. Not only do we want our librarians back but we want them back and better than before!”
“Libraries are a vital part of my son’s development. Please don’t cut back on them. The hours have already been shortened drastically over the last few years. More cuts are hurting are children!”
“Because Libraries are the corner-stone of knowledge as well as building a strong economy, I’m really appalled at the Newfoundland and Labrador Government for cutting them. I’m also appalled at the fact that Corner Brook is disproportionately bearing most of the cuts, especially with the Western Newfoundland and Labrador District Office being closed. The result is that Western Newfoundland as well as Labrador will not have district representation, thus proving that Mr. Jackman has a grudge against them. That’s why I believe that the Newfoundland and Labrador Government should stop all cuts to Libraries, especially against Corner Brook.”
“Nine librarians are not enough to manage the 90+ libraries in NL. This is a disservice to your communities, especially to early learners, the home schooled, the unemployed, elderly, and economically disadvantaged. Surely there could have been options discussed with the librarians or the greater community. I pray a solution is found to better serve the Newfoundland community, as they are the ones who will suffer.”
“Wow! I don’t even have the words to describe how ridiculously appalled and stunned I am by the decision to cut so many professional positions at the public library.”
NLLA will be contacting Clyde Jackman directly to request a response to this outpouring of support for public libraries.