The group behind the successful campaign to restore funding to Saskatchewan’s provincial libraries is concerned about the latest move from the provincial government: a ‘consultation’ process to review library funding and service delivery.
Save Sask Libraries has confirmed the province is currently reviewing library service delivery, legislation and funding, but the consultations only included appointed library boards, with no public participation.
“We are disappointed that there are no avenues for public involvement in the current library review. As library patrons, the public is an essential voice that should be part of any conversations happening about the future of this important public service,” said Christine Freethy, co-founder of Save Sask Libraries. “If the government thinks they can make decisions about the future of our libraries behind closed doors, they have another thing coming.”
Thousands of Saskatchewan residents spoke out against cuts to libraries after the 2017 provincial budget. Library advocates are now concerned that the secretive review process could signal future funding cuts, restructuring or changes in service delivery.
When the funding to libraries was restored, then Premier Brad Wall made assurances that any library review would included library patrons and the public.
“We know that the public cares deeply about our provincial libraries. The Saskatchewan government should take note of that and ensure that any consultation process that they undertake is transparent, with ample opportunities for public participation”, said Sarah Morden, co-founder of of Save Sask Libraries.
Save Sask Libraries is grassroots, patron lead advocacy group that sprung into life after the 2017 budget cut to public libraries. It held the largest mass demonstration in the modern history of Saskatchewan
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