"Whatever the cost of our Libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation." Walter Cronkite.
The economic banning of books and information is the form of censorship that we must be the most vigilant in guarding against. Public Libraries have a proud history of protecting readers’ right to read and to know, but they have to exist to be able to perform this vital public service. When Libraries start planning to close, and the Provincial Government is failing to act, reasonable people must ask themselves what is happening?
Freedom to Read week, February 26th to March 4th, is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about their right to intellectual freedom as guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is a perfect time to consider the dire financial situation at the Cumberland Public Libraries. They are in the process of determining how to cut even more, specifically whether it is better to reduce open hours everywhere or close one location permanently. They face a $34,000 deficit after having received a total increase in funding from the Province of 1.3% for the last eight years. They’ve cut everything that can be before markedly reducing service to their community. Why do the people who live in Cumberland County deserve less intellectual freedom?
They don’t. They should have the same right to access quality public library service as anyone else in Nova Scotia. Readers might be imagining that the fault is somehow theirs but it is not. The Provincial government is responsible for this situation and has the power to fix it. Many Library Regions in the Province are not far behind including Eastern Counties Regional Library. Within the next 3 years locations will begin to close within Richmond, Guysborough and Inverness Counties.
Cumberland’s Library, is everyone’s Library. If you went to one of their branches you would be welcomed, as is everyone, regardless of where they live. Their funding problem is every Library’s funding problem and it will not be solved without readers speaking up. Do not be quiet about the Library.
Please celebrate “Freedom to Read” week by phoning your MLA, to tell them not to mess up the books - the Library funding problem must be fixed. Everyone’s got the right to read freely.
Honourable Michel P. Samson
Richmond Industrial Mall 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 57
Louisdale, Nova Scotia
Phone: (902) 345-0778
Fax: (902) 345-0779
Honourable Lloyd Hines
9996 Highway 16
PO Box 259
Guysborough, Nova Scotia
Phone: (902) 533-2280
Fax: (902) 533-3039
15759 Central Avenue
Inverness, Nova Scotia
Phone: (902) 258-2216
Fax: (902) 258-3231
Staff at Eastern Counties Regional Library would like to thank all of our readers for helping us raise $5,909.05 in this year's annual Share-A-Book campaign. Your support and caring helps us to ensure everyone can read.
Books matter. They make a difference for a child learning to read, a senior on a fixed income, a busy mom on a budget and to so many others in your community. We’re asking you to donate to our annual Share A Book campaign so the public library can buy books. Our wonderful 2016 community sponsors, Mulgrave Machine Works, Galloping Cows, Remax Park Place Inc. and the Richmond County Literacy Network have kicked off this year's fundraising campaign with their generous donations. Please visit your local Library to give so that everyone can read. Or you can mail in your donation using our donor card. Tax receipts can be given for all donations $10 or more. Thank you.