Saturday Snap – Kids Protesting Cuts to Saskatchewan Public Libraries #skpoli #SaveSKLibraries

Since the Saskatchewan Provincial Budget was announced last week, it’s pretty amazing to see the groundswell of protest at some of the most egregious and harmful cuts, especially to the province’s historic, innovative and world renowned public library system. For example, one Facebook group that sprang up is quickly approaching 4000 members after less than a week in existence!

A rally that was organized on pretty short notice in Regina for Saturday afternoon attracted over 100 people.  More events across the province are being planned as well.

Before the budget was released, many sectors were expecting cuts of around 5%.  That is what happened for the large public library systems in Regina and Saskatoon. But rural libraries got cut by over FIFTY per cent!  (And to make it even worse, these cuts were announced without any consultation *and* are retroactive to the start of the year after 1/4 of their budgets were spent on a totally different set of assumptions.)

I don’t want to be too strong in my condemnation of these cuts but some of the quotes from government officials indicate that, at the very least, there is a lack of understanding about the role that the public library plays in modern life in terms of being a community hub for long-term citizens and new Canadians, an economic driver, and providing a huge return on investment.

It’s also shocking to see the Sask Party, who have the largest part of their base in rural Saskatchewan, make a move that will drive a stake into the libraries which are the heart of many rural communities.

I’m not sure if it’s true but there’s an anecdote in libraries about an attempted cut to library funding in a small town.  The all-male town council, who weren’t library users for the most part, proposed the cuts but then their wives showed up at the next council meeting and the cuts were just as quickly cancelled.

I think there may be a similar disconnect here between the people making the decisions to cut funding to libraries and the response they’re going to get from the users.

We’ll see what happens but if the women and children (and yes, even many men) who love the libraries of rural Saskatchewan keep making noise, look out!

 

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 3

  1. From Head Tale - Global TV: “Protesters Decry Steep Budget Cuts Across Saskatchewan” #skpoli #SaveSKLibraries on 26 Mar 2017 at 10:18 pm

    […] This is the Global News story about the protest we attended yesterday. […]

  2. From Head Tale - Music Monday – “Libraries gave us power” #skpoli #SaveSKLibraries #SAVEDSKLibraries on 24 Apr 2017 at 10:56 pm

    […] the song “A Design for Life” with the budget cuts fresh in my mind.  Having already attended a rally protesting the cuts, I had no idea what I’d be doing next.  But I knew I’d be doing whatever I could to […]

  3. From Head Tale - A Timeline of Major Events in the #SaveSKLibraries Campaign #skpoli #SAVEDSKLibraries on 25 Apr 2017 at 11:54 pm

    […] Saturday March 25, 2017  A hastily arranged protest in Victoria Park in downtown Regina, Saskatchewan draws a crowd of over 100 people. […]

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