Libraries require full funding

Published on April 13, 2017

I am deeply troubled by the proposed cuts to Cumberland's library. Even more so, now that I realize cuts to libraries are a widespread trend across this country. This is the worst possible decision any level of government could support.  

My personal Facebook page reports friends in six provinces fighting to turn back funding cuts or freezes to their libraries. I had no idea that cutting library funding had become the "go to" way to balance budgets. Please use your position to help your colleagues see how short sighted this strategy is. Short-term gains do not warrant the long-term costs (pain) that will arise when this essential communication tool is hamstrung.
This is especially true in rural areas whose resources and supports are being seriously eroded in so many ways. This is a huge concern to me and should be to you and other decision-makers too!
Libraries today are so much more than warehouses for books; they are the cheap, quick, and efficient way to deliver not only light entertainment but also essentials like: literacy skills, second language training and practice, health and safety info, Internet access, life and workplace skills and so very much more
Any and all of these services would cost so much more to deliver alternately. Libraries are a one stop shop citizens already know about and can access comfortably. We need them as they are, or in fact, even better funded.
Libraries serve a large section of the population, often those who might otherwise be excluded because of financial, language, literacy, accessibility, issues to name just a few audiences currently being served.
Cutting library funding cuts access to the people, the voters, the citizens. Is this the long-term result Canada needs or wants? Because that's what we are buying with this short-sighted, uninformed strategy.
Here are my instructions to my elected provincial representative.
Please work hard to ensure that libraries receive the funding they need to perform their essential communication role in our society. Please work tirelessly to help your colleagues, both elected and civil service, to understand and appreciate the pivotal role libraries play, and must continue to play, if Nova Scotia is to grow and flourish.
Leslie Childs, Amherst