The following TWUC statement was sent today to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Michael Tibollo. If you wish to voice your own concern about the cuts to Ontario library services, you can do so online at this petition.
The Writers’ Union of Canada strongly urges the Government of Ontario to reconsider recent cuts to the operating budgets of the Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) and Ontario Library Service – North (OLS-North). These cuts have resulted in the cancellation of vital inter-library loan and delivery services across the province.
Cuts to library services lack foresight, and do not consider long-term damage to both the social fabric of the province and its educational system. Inter-library loans are a boon to education, and provide vital information access outside of major urban centres. Local libraries act as community hubs for business and cultural activities, and provide high-speed internet access that works to close the digital divide in Ontario. Many small businesses outside urban centres regularly access and depend upon library services, including inter-library loans.
The reduction of established and efficient library services, especially in remote and rural communities, will burden the budgets of these essential community institutions, and will lead inevitably to other reduced services. This will have a profoundly negative effect on educational opportunities for children and adult learners across Ontario.
Ontario’s library services have been a model to the world, and have played no small part in the support and creation of the province’s writing and publishing sector. Ontario is celebrated across Canada as the home of many of our most beloved and successful authors, including Canada’s Nobel laureate, Alice Munro, who continues to live in a small, rural community served until now by inter-library loans.
We believe robust access to public libraries and the inter-library services provided by both SOLS and OLS-North contributes to economic growth, creates a better-informed society, and fosters a healthier democracy.
The Writers’ Union of Canada is our country’s national organization representing more than 2,100 professional authors of books. The Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers. www.writersunion.ca
For additional information:
John Degen, Executive Director
416.703.8982 Ext. 221