Both the Manitoba Library Association and the Yukon Library Association have both released statements urging the government of Newfoundland and Labrador to reconsider its decision to cut funding to the province’s public libraries. They join eight other associations (CLA, BCLA, BCLTA, APLA, CAPAL, CAUT, ABPQ, OLA) as well as the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS) at Western University, who have also voiced criticism of the budget cuts resulting in the closure of 54 public libraries as well as the implementation of a 10% book tax.
The Yukon Library Association noted the adverts effect the cuts will have on rural communities, “In Yukon, as in Newfoundland and Labrador, our libraries are often the only place where children can hang out after school, where a young parent can meet other parents, where newcomers can find out about housing and employment options, and where an elder can get help opening an email attachment. For some citizens, libraries are the only way to access the Internet, to apply for jobs, to file taxes, to fill out government forms, and to study by distance. Many of us take for granted the access to instant information available via smartphones, tablets, and home computers. Small, remote libraries are often the only point of access that many people have in an increasingly digital world.” Read the full letter.
The Manitoba Library Association noted “Public libraries are open and accessible community hubs with a focus on partnerships, creativity, learning and development of all citizens. Libraries are an integral part of the cultural and creative industries, and play an important role in ensuring the economic and social development of our communities.” You can visit their website to view their statement.
The NLLA appreciated the support it has received nation wide.