Libraries across Northern Ontario are working together to fight back against the province’s 50 percent funding cut to the provincially funded agency that provide them service year round.
They have launched an advocacy campaign and website called SaveOLSN.ca to highlight the work that Ontario Library Service North (OLS-N) does for northern libraries and their patrons.
“We want to ensure that all Ontarians know what OLS-N does and what a cut to their services means to local libraries,” said Caroline Goulding, campaign spokesperson and CEO at the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre.
The SaveOLSN.ca website features stories from libraries across Northern Ontario and draws attention to the valuable services that are now at risk.
It also provides an opportunity for libraries to thank staff at OLS-N for their contributions as half of the unionized employees were laid off last Thursday.
“For a small staff of what was 14, the differences they have made for libraries is incredible,” Goulding remarked.
More stories about OLS-N will be added to the SaveOLSN.ca website as they are submitted, so people can check back regularly for updates.
Last Tuesday, representatives from the Dryden and Kenora Public Library joined Goulding to meet with local MPP Greg Rickford to talk about what OLS-N does for the library and raise concerns around the reduction in their funding.
The next steps for the advocacy campaign will be dependent on the province’s response to the libraries’, municipalities’, and public’s clear disdain with the cuts in northern Ontario.
“We are hoping that the province will pause the 50 percent reduction in funding in order to consult with northern libraries regarding the impact this cut will have,” Goulding said.
Dryden librarian Dayna DeBenedet has spearheaded the advocacy campaign and is inviting members of the public to contact their local MPP and the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Michael Tibollo and have their voices heard.
For information about how cuts to OLS-North could impact your local library please contact Caroline Goulding directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the website at www.saveolsn.ca.