Letter: Why Libraries Matter

Tuesday, May 17 2016

Dear Editor:

Recently the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, in a fit of financial idiocy, cut funding to libraries in the province in order to save $1.2 million due to their austerity budget – a decision that I see as short-sighted, and quite frankly, stupid. Access to books and the varied resources offered by libraries is essential to supporting and promoting healthy, informed and engaged citizens.

The Vancouver Island Regional Library system is, in my opinion, one of the best library systems I have ever encountered. 

The library we enjoy here on Gabriola is staffed with incredibly helpful and resourceful individuals. The service is excellent and the scope of resources continues to amaze me. I can order books, DVDs, and CDs on line and they miraculously show up at our library. 

The library has become our community living room. It has free internet access, films, story time and intriguing guest speakers. It offers a venue for new and already established local authors to present their work, and classes and courses with subjects ranging from mushrooms to computer training, and solar power to social issues.  

It’s a place to meet friends and have a chat about books, films and just about anything else. It’s family oriented, kid friendly, welcoming and a community resource to be acknowledged and appreciated.

Libraries are one of the very best programs that our tax dollars support and, as demonstrated so recently in Newfoundland and Labrador, one that needs to be fiercely protected as a fundamental right for all Canadians. 

~ Steve O’Neill