Public libraries seek help this election

Pictou-Advocate-opinion

To the Editor:

The Library Boards Association of Nova Scotia and the Council of Regional Librarians urge you to ask your local candidates to support sustainable core funding for public libraries during the provincial election.

Public libraries are funded by grants from the province and municipalities. Library Boards are responsible for the purchase of print and electronic materials, employ staff, build services, and conduct programs. The bricks and mortar are maintained by the municipalities.

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This spring public libraries received a one time grant from the Department of Community Culture and Heritage to help meet their budget targets for the year, however, since 2009 public libraries have received less than a one percent increase to their core operating funding.

Library branches serve as important gathering spaces in our communities. Libraries are uniquely positioned to engage communities and the people who live in them — encouraging participation, facilitating connections, and providing solutions in an ever-changing world. Nova Scotia public libraries are built on a foundation of equality and open access. Libraries are common spaces that serve everyone. Libraries foster dialogue on issues important to the community. Libraries are key to democratic participation in society.

With an election underway, Libraries Boards of Nova Scotia and the Council of Regional Librarians are asking for your support to help raise this issue with your local candidates.

Ruby McDorman, President, Library Boards Association of Nova Scotia
Troy Myers , Chair, Council of Regional Librarians