The latest Saskatchewan budget eliminated provincial funding for public libraries in Regina and Saskatoon and cut funding for regional libraries in half, or by $3.5 million.
This decision will have a devastating impact on regional libraries, who are losing the majority of their funding with no notice.They will have no choice but to cut important programing, reduce hours, layoff staff, or close branches. And our communities will suffer from the loss.
Libraries are about more than just borrowing books. Meeting rooms are used by community groups, library staff host education programs and clubs, and provide important access to computer terminals and internet. There are services for seniors, children, employment support, language and reading groups, citizenship test preparation, and help for newcomers to build their resumes. And in rural communities, libraries provide a priceless sense of community – a safe space for teenagers and kids, a gathering place for seniors, and a central hub for the whole community.