'Drop Everything and Read' aims to support local libraries

By Roger White
March 30, 2017 - 1:45pm Updated: March 30, 2017 - 2:32pm

Concerned citizens from across the province will stand in solidarity with local libraries against the Saskatchewan government’s recent cuts by holding a peaceful protest.

Drop Everything and Read takes place April 7. Supporters will gather at MLA offices to read a book and call on the Wall government to reconsider their decision to cut funding to regional libraries by nearly 58 per cent.

“Supporters will be gathering outside the Herb Cox office here in North Battleford,” Lakeland Library director Eleanor Crumblehulme said. “Several members of our staff as well as many other library supporters will be out in full force to let Mr. Cox know we are not happy with the government’s plan to cut regional library funding by 3.5 million dollars.”

Since the budget announcement on March 22, the Lakeland Library Region has reassessed its entire operation.

In 2016, the Lakeland Library received $814,000 in funding, which according to Crumblehulme, went to staffing and projects at the libraries. When the funding cut was announced it meant the entire operation which services many outlying areas would now have to operate with just $342,000.

“I’ve sent a letter off to Meadow Lake MLA Jeremy Harrison who is also the Minister of the Economy this week about some comments he made this week about the budget and the cuts to libraries," Crumblehulme said. “He has not responded.”

Over 4,000 people have joined the Facebook group entitled Save Sask Libraries. It started the day after the budget was announced, and recently launched into a website featuring an online letter writing tool and a paper petition drive.

 

roger.white@jpbg.ca

On Twitter: @battlefordsNow

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