Library could go offline

Raissa Tetanish
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Province mulls cutting Internet funding

AMHERST - The chief librarian in Cumberland County is concerned about what might happen if the province decides to cut its Internet funding for regional libraries.

But Beth Clinton said the Cumberland Regional Library is always prepared.
"We never know what's coming in terms of funding, so we're always prepared for what may happen," said Clinton from the Four Fathers Memorial Library in Amherst.
The province recently told all public libraries it is considering pulling its funding for Internet service.
"That service isn't just for people using the public computers. It's also used for our circulation and cataloguing and we can't really do without those services if the funding is cut," she said.
With seven branches throughout the county, the Cumberland Regional Library spends $20,772 on connectivity services.
The Cumberland Regional Library has been using the automated services since September 2000.
Though Clinton said she's concerned about this funding announcement, she said it hasn't been confirmed.
She also said she's concerned about funding in general.
"If they cut this funding, it's an added burden for us. If the government doesn't give us adequate funding to make up for this, that funding has to come from somewhere else," she said.
"It's going to come through service cuts."
The province is also thinking about cutting its funding for travel costs for chief librarians.
Clinton said there are usually two meetings per year for chief librarians throughout the province, and that they are sometimes two-day meetings.
Most of the time they are held in Halifax, which is the most central location.
"We get together to work on things such as reciprocal agreements and services, like our downloadable audio program," Clinton noted.
If the travel expenses are cut, Clinton said that's just one more thing to worry about.
rtetanish@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Cumberland Regional Library

Geographic location: AMHERST, Cumberland County, Halifax

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  • Cece
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    Cumberland Regional Library system,along with the other library systems with which it co-operates, is about the only part of the N.S. government that works great. I sincerely hope the political class doesn't mess with it. Keep up the good work, Beth.

  • dee
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    Amherst has one of the best managed, most welcoming libraries compared to any I have visited Canada wide. The service is top notch, staff is knowledgable and hopefully our community will stand behind Beth and the committed staff and insist the funding not be cut!
    Keep up the good work!
    d.

  • Jennifer
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Isn't internet a covered monthly expense for the same NS NDP persons? Wow, maybe they can chip in... or sell a desk or a model ship to help pay for it.

  • Jim
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    So they want to raise taxes and cut services - that's pretty sucky of them.

    The library is a very important part of our town. It makes Amherst more attactive to new businesses and new residents. I would be interested in knowing how much the Inet services cost and how many people use them in a year. I personally use it a lot, both to check the status of a book i'm looking for and for the online car manuals.

    We need to be practical here, but if it is a used service - it needs to be kept, but that doesn't mean we need to increase taxes to do it.

    And I agree with you, Dee, Amherst has one of the best libraries I've been to PERIOD. Not just in NS. Keep up the good work Ms. Clinton!

  • Joe
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    I agree with Robert Bird and this bloated part of the government should be cut.

  • Vince
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    I agree with all the previous comments. I do visit the local library in Amherst and I too find it one of the best libraries in the province of Nova Scotia. There are also some very updated libraries in Halifax and the one in Amherst is just as good if not better.

    Keep up the good work and let us the local population get behind this very valuable service to our citizens.

    THANK YOU

  • Big Brother 1984
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    And yet another funding cut to important services in the province. How absolutely mind-staggering that the NDP would do something like this (...and yes, I'm being sarcastic!).
    When this service was first introduced in 2000 I was extremely excited knowing I could easily go onto the site myself and search for a specific book, or order in books from other counties myself to the local library all without having to sit on telephones or physically make trips to the library (in my gas consuming vehicle) or call this library or that library hunting for the book, or simply scroll through the selections on hand and come across something interesting ... all in the comfort of my own home and with the touch of a button.
    The online site includes lists audio books and movies that the library keeps on hand and so much more and it all has been wonderful, not to mention the fact that these services enabled us to bring in books and documentary movies that helped our son through specific historical understandings and other subjects in school.
    It baffles me ... we elect these people to represent us ... and they go about making these decisions ... and I really don't believe these are decisions the people would want done.
    What I DO believe is that we hold elections and after these people come into power, we simply give up OUR decision making power and go back to our quiet little lives ... leaving them to do what they will (or in this case will not) with our tax dollars. Remember people, these are our WAGES. We keep calling them TAX dollars as though they do not belong to us for OUR service requirements ... but they are in fact OUR WAGES. We hand over a hefty portion of them to strangers somewhere miles & miles away and as of late it's been revealed to us what they are actually doing with them.
    Albert Einstein defined INSANITY as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
    Think about it.