Public Libraries Saved

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.

You Belong @ Your Library Poster (PDF)

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 try to continue to keep this issue at the forefront as many sectors work to determine their responses and what will have 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.

The recent budget cuts to library funding has created a storm of information and activity.  The SLA Board has met and determined some initial strategies to begin addressing the issue.   It is important to reach out to the public and get library users demonstrating the value of libraries in their lives and communities. SLA wants to provide everyone in the province with the tools to enable and empower them to make their voices heard.

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 –

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 and below.

VOTE Library Petition PDF

VOTE Library Petition signing instructions

VOTE Library Petition FAQs

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.


Petition Libraries Web Form

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

Media Coverage

CTV News Saskatoon – SPL lays off 22 staff (May 31)

CBC News Saskatoon – SPL laying off 20 workers (May 31)

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix – SPL to cut staff in response to budget shortfalls (May 30)

Library Journal – Public Outcry Saves Sask. Library Funds (May 15)

AM620 CRKM – Advocating for Public Libraries to be discussed at annual conference (May 3)

AM980 CJME – Purolator to ship library books across Sask. as STC closes (May 2)

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix – ILL in its current form to be examined (May 1)

Regina Leader-Post – Research and consultation recommended before making big decisions (Apr. 26)

CBC News Saskatchewan – Rejoice over funding reinstatement (Apr. 25)

CBC News Saskatchewan – Media scrum with Education Minister Morgan (Apr. 24)

CBC News Saskatchewan – Library cuts reversed (Apr. 24)

Regina Leader-Post – Library funding restored (Apr. 24) – Libraries keep pressure on government to restore funding (Apr. 24)

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix – Premier Wall asks Education Minister to review library funding issue (Apr. 20)

CBC – Sask. Party reviewing cuts to libraries (Apr. 20)

Estevan Mercury – Southeast Regional makes key decisions (Apr. 13)

Northern Pride – Public protests library cuts (Apr. 13)

Northern Pride – Find ways to fund libraries (Apr. 13)

Yorktown This Week – Parkland Library hacks staff and services (Apr. 12)

The Globe and Mail – SK should take note: Libraries are sanctuaries of civil societies (Apr. 9)

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix – Libraries are fundamental (Apr. 8)

Regina Leader-Post – Protesters Drop everything and read and MLA Offices (Apr. 7)

CBC News Saskatoon – Hundreds of readers silently protest outside MLA offices against library cuts (Apr. 7) 

CTV News Regina – Hundreds across Saskatchewan protest library cuts (Apr. 7)

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix – SPL faces 800K deficit and prepares to make substantial cuts (Apr. 6)

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix – SPL reviews how it curates its collection as ILL ends (Apr. 5)

Melfort Journal – Wapiti Regional Library to lose 60% of funding (Apr. 4)

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix – One Provice One Card Program cut (Apr. 4)

CTV News Regina – Sask. libraries forced to stop inter-library loans due to budget cuts (Apr. 4)

Global News Regina -gov’t hopes to avoid elimination of ILL (Apr. 4)

CBC News Saskatoon – Education Minister responds to ILL elimination (Apr. 4)

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix – SPL says cuts drastic and shortsighted (Apr. 4)

CBC News Saskatchewan – laid off library staff speak out (Apr. 3)

Reging Leader-Post – Saskatchewan budget leaves rural communities disconnected (Apr. 3)

CBC News Saskatchewan – Library Manager debunks province’s budget cuts defence (Apr. 2)

Regina Leader-Post – advocates continue fight (Apr. 2)

CTV News Regina – staff layoffs and petition (Mar. 30)

CBC News Regina – interview with SLA President (Mar. 27)

CKOM – Sask. Libraries struggling with provincial budget cuts (Mar. 27)

CTV News Saskatoon -Cuts a huge blow to Wapiti Region (Mar. 24)

CTV News Saskatoon – Budget stops provincial funding for Saskatoon, Regina libraries (Mar. 22)

Facts and Resources

10 Reasons the #SaveSKLibraries Campaign was successful

A timeline of major events from the #SaveSKLibraries campaign

Celebrating Co-operation among Saskatchewan’s Libraries: The Multitype Library Board, 1996-2016

FAQs Fact Sheet (Regina Public Library)

Letter from MLA addresses substantial accumulated library surpluses 

  • Value of regional library buildings, books, and vehicles constitute surpluses

Letter to Regina Leader-Post explains SK library systems (Apr. 4)

Libraries Represent a Tradition Clearly Worth Saving (May 31, 2016)

Library Funding Fact Sheet (Regina Public Library)

The Public Libraries Act, 1996

The Public Libraries Regulations, 1996

The Referendum and Plebiscite Act (brief explanation)

Regina Public Library 2016 Fact Sheet

Responses to Budget Cuts Misconceptions

SLA You Belong Poster (PDF)

Saskatchewan Information & Library Services Consortium

Saskatchewan Library Governance Fact Sheet (Regina Public Library)

Timeline of major events in the #SaveSKLibraries Campaign

Wapiti Finances – Countering SK Government Misinformation

What’s being said about public libraries in Saskatchewan Fact Sheet

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.

This page offers downloads to .pdf files. Acrobat Reader is required to view these files. You can download and install Acrobat Reader here: