Concerned citizens from across Saskatchewan are standing together to fight back against the Saskatchewan government’s recent cuts to libraries by launching a new campaign, Save Sask Libraries.
Since its start as a facebook group on Thursday, over 4,000 people have joined the campaign – and the number keeps growing. Now the group is launching a website (www.savesasklibraries.ca) which features an online letter writing tool and a paper petition drive.
“I am just a mom who cares deeply about library services. I was really mad that the Government’s budget is cutting off rural libraries at the knees,” said Christine Freethy, one of the founder of Save Sask Libraries. “I have no idea it would get this big, but it is clear from the response from ppeople from all over Saskatchewan that are libraries matter and that these cuts are unacceptable.”
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,” said Freethy. “We all need to speak out now and let our elected official now that libraries are the heart of our communities.”
A province wide action, “Drop Everything and Read” has been announced. This initiative, scheduled April 7th and shall be organized by local committees. Spearheaded by Leslie Richards, library supporters will gather locally at their MLA offices, to read a book and call upon the government to reconsider their funding cuts to regional libraries.
You can learn more about the group and their initiative at www.savesask.libraries.ca or on facebook by searching for the group Supporting Saskatchewan’s Public Libraries.