2017 Provincial Funding Cuts

Monday, May 1, 2017

Provincial Library System Returned to Full Service

The online, province-wide library catalogue has been turned back on, and people from across the province once again have access to thousands of books, e-books, DVDs and more.

“As of this morning, full province-wide lending was restored, and the entire online catalogue is once again available to the people of Saskatchewan,” reports Tony Murphy, Wapiti Regional Library Regional Director. “The Wapiti Regional Library Board is very pleased that we can once again provide province-wide access to this valuable service.”

The provincial catalogue is a joint system managed by the province’s seven regions, two urban libraries, and the northern library system. It enables anyone from anywhere in the province to request items and have them delivered to their home library.

“Cooperation and sharing resources has always been at the heart of our province,” Murphy said, “and our public libraries epitomise that philosophy. Sharing library materials is a decades-old practice in Saskatchewan and our SILS “One Card, One Province” system is envied across Canada as an effective and exemplary means of providing learning and literacy opportunities to anyone, regardless of location, age, income, education, or social status.”

The ability to borrow items from across the province had to be closed off as a result of funding cuts in the province’s 2017 budget. When funding was restored on April 24, libraries were once again able to support province-wide use of the system.

“The provincial grant for public libraries is specifically for resource sharing at the province’s two municipal libraries,” Murphy explained, “and for Wapiti Regional Library, it is the sole source of operational funding for Wapiti’s Regional Office. The Wapiti Regional Library Board, as well as our communities and libraries, are appreciative of the provincial government’s decision to reinstate that grant for the 2017 fiscal year.”

Library stakeholders across the province will be working in the months ahead to review the system and determine whether changes or improvements can be made.

 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Read the Wapiti Regional Library Finances: Countering Saskatchewan Government Misinformation document that clarifies and dispels some wildly inaccurate financial claims made by the Saskatchewan Government's Ministry of Education.

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Wednesday's provincial budget cut Wapiti Regional Library's funding by 58%. That's not a typo: 58%. The province cut $3.5 million out of an already small budget of $6 million, spread over 7 regional libraries. Wapiti Regional Library is YOUR public library, and we need you to speak up, very quickly and very loudly. 

Education Minister Don Morgan has said that "the province no longer wants to be in the library business," and that "as a province we should be getting out of bricks and mortar libraries."

YOU need to help us educate our dangerously ill-informed Education Minister. Mr. Morgan needs to understand that public libraries are, and have always been, a vital part of any democratic society. As the minister overseeing both schools and libraries, he needs to realize that it is not a competition, that public libraries play a very important role not only in children's education, but in adult education as well.

Minister Morgan must recognize that schools only educate our citizens from K-12; public libraries, however, educate citizens from BIRTH to DEATH, while ALSO supplementing a child's K-12 education. In other words, public libraries do it all.

"Bricks and mortar" libraries are the heart of Saskatchewan communities. They are far, far more than mere buildings filled with books. Books, by the way, which HAVE NOT been supplanted by what Minister Morgan has called "electronic or alternative media." Public libraries are employment centres in a province that has closed its own employment offices, and is closing more now. Our Ministry of the Economy attempted to demonstrate the importance of libraries to our economy by funding "Job Search Centres" in public libraries beginning in 2015. Yes, public libraries are vital to our economy. Job seekers, small businesses, and others depend on public libraries for information and computer access.

You need to speak up for your regional library NOW.

Please contact your local MLA and your municipality to voice your support for public libraries.

Contact Minister Morgan at:

Hon. Don Morgan
Minister of Education
Room 361, Legislative Building
2405 Legislative Drive, Regina, SK S4S 0B3
Phone: (306) 787-0613
Email:   minister.edu@gov.sk.ca

Contact Premier Brad Wall at:

Hon. Brad Wall
Premier of Saskatchewan
Phone: 306-787-9433
Fax: 306-787-0885
Email: premier@gov.sk.ca

Contact Provincial Librarian Alison Hopkins at:

Alison Hopkins
Provincial Librarian
Provincial Library and Literacy Office
Phone: (306) 787-2514
Email: alison.hopkins@gov.sk.ca

Wapiti Regional Library stakeholders, please let Minister Morgan and our government know that killing libraries kills communities. These funding cuts will cause library closures. Help us fight for your libraries.

Sample Template Letter to MLA

List of Saskatchwan MLA's

VOTE Library Petition (Referendum and Plebiscite Act Petition)

VOTE Library Petition Instructions

Statement from Saskatchewan Information & Library Services (SILS) to Saskatchewan Residents on the Impact of the Provincial Budget Cuts

Below are documents authored by Regina Public Library to correct misinformation about Saskatchewan libraries, explain how libraries are governed and funded, and in light of recent budget cuts, clarify what has happened to the Holds system.

Fact Sheet: Library Funding

Fact Sheet: Saskatchewan Library Governance

Fact Sheet: What's Being Said About Public Libraries in Saskatchewan

Fact Sheet: Frequently Asked Questions (What Happened to the Holds System?)