Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Seemingly out of nowhere, all over the world libraries have come under attack.

Libraries? What have they done to offend the powers-that-be? I think the question that must be asked, is who benefits. Who benefits from closing libraries, reducing access to books and information? Who benefits from cutting the poor, the mobility-restricted, the elderly, off from access to their community? Supposedly it's all about saving money.

Really? Seems to me there's always money for the things politicians want whether it be new fighter jets or hockey arenas.

I'm making a presentation tomorrow to my municipal council, which has suggesting closing three of our six libraries. Now, I live in a rural area that has no public transit. Here's the crux of my talk:

As a relative newcomer to the County, I was shocked to read that council is considering closing libraries in the smaller communities. This would be a serious mistake for many reasons. In a spread-out area such as Prince Edward County that does not have the luxury of public transit, libraries are an invaluable resource to those who don’t have access to a car such as parents with young children, teenagers needing help with homework, job seekers who can’t afford a computer or high-speed wireless in their homes, the elderly with mobility issues.
Libraries bind communities: they promote literacy, provide meeting spaces, help children with homework, give young people a safe and productive place to go. They welcome newcomers and provide older residents with a place to get together and keep their minds active.

Closing of the libraries in the villages as has been suggested would be tantamount to tearing the heart out of those communities. And worst of all penalizing the poorer and least fortunate of County residents.

I ask councillors to reconsider this ill-thought out plan.


  1. Libraries help people help themselves. Patrons of all ages can study for a degree, learn job seeking skills, take classes in computer and internet related skills, and a host of other things. Communities need libraries more than ever.

  2. Thanks, Bev. I like that line and I'll use it.