Supporting All Libraries
The Saskatchewan Library Association is very concerned about the impacts to libraries, our members, the library community of Saskatchewan, and all the residents of the province. We will continue to keep this issue at the forefront as many sectors work to determine their responses and what will have the greatest impact. The greatest defense is in numbers – every individual doing one or two or more significant acts to apply pressure to the government to reconsider and to offer an opportunity for serious discussions, or find a reasonable forward that won’t be devastating to the libraries that support all demographics of communities throughout the province. Long-time Canadian library advocate Wendy Newman quoted Ken Haycock at the 2016 Saskatchewan Libraries Conference by stating that successful advocacy is planned, deliberate, and sustained over time and is proactive.
More information about promoting the value of libraries and building a plan is on SLA’s Advocacy Articles Series that is here. A directory and map of all libraries in Saskatchewan is here. In Fall 2017 SLA’s president and executive director were interviewed for an advocacy television show about the value of public libraries in Saskatchewan. It can be viewed here. In 2018 SLA’s president published an article titled The Saskatchewan Spring of 2017: 34 Days that Shook the Provincial Government and led to the Provincial Government Reinstating Funding to Public Libraries.
Post Funding Restoration – Current Information
Government Restores Funding To Public Libraries
The Government of Saskatchewan issued a media release on April 24 to reinstate funding to public libraries in the seven regional systems, Regina, and Saskatoon for the 2017-18 budget year. The media release is here and SLA’s reply letter to Premier Brad Wall is here. SLA will continue to monitor developments and especially in regards to reviewing The Public Libraries Act and co-location of public and school libraries. SLA has also archived all content (see sections below) on this previously named page called Save Public Libraries.
Letter Writing Tool-kit
Letter Writing Tool-kit Letter Writing Tool
The planned cuts to Saskatchewan libraries have highlighted the urgent need to support our elected government in understanding the value of the library in our lives and in our communities.
What we know about library use in Saskatchewan is that we as individuals use libraries for many different reasons that change throughout our lives. We also know that stories are a powerful communication tool.
Do you have a library story that would be helpful in communicating the importance of libraries in our communities?
Write a Letter to your MLA, the Minister of Education and the Premier, the Leader of the Oppostion and any other stakholders.
Find your MLA here – http://www.legassembly.sk.ca/mlas
Letters (hand-written and with a stamped envelope) should contain the following:
- your name
- your local library
- stories about the impact the library has for you, your family and your community and what reductions to funding would mean
- a request for follow up – this is very important!
Lets get Saskatchewan talking about the importance of libraries in our communities!
Two petitions are available. Both have different guidelines but they share the same goal of asking the Saskatchewan Government to take action on it cuts to public library funding.
Vote Library Petition is for Saskatchewan residents over the age of 18 (info on the petition) calling for a vote. 15% of the voters of Saskatchewan or approximately 125,000 people need to sign to bring it to the legislature to hold a referendum. Details are at Vote Library Petition.ca and below.
Petition signatures received as of April 23, 2017 (13% of goal)
The Save Saskatchewan Libraries Petition voices concern and can be signed by non-residents, those under 18 years of age, and others. It demonstrates the opposition to the impacts on public libraries but this petition doesn’t require action from the government.
SLA Advocacy Activities
SLA is undertaking the following:
- Continuing to issue media releases
- Communicating with other library associations in hopes of some level of coordination of effort and position
- Connecting with the grassroots movements to stay abreast of the activities going on throughout the province
- Encouraging the library community to embark on a serious letter writing campaign to MLAs, the Premier, the Leader of the Opposition, using the toolkit found on the website Letter Writing Tool
- Encouraging participation to gather signatures on the petitions being circulated.
- Fact checking of government information on the cuts and determining the context for that information
- Writing official letters to government, other affected organizations, and stakeholders
Archived Media Coverage
SLA Letters to Stakeholders
Responses to Budget Cuts
Facts and Resources
- Value of regional library buildings, books, and vehicles constitute surpluses
Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) Event – April 7
Some photos from the event, courtesy of CUPE Saskatchewan, are here.
Below is a map of locations that participated in DEAR.