April 18, 2017
Letter of the Day: Libraries
Provincial budget cuts to libraries negatively affect the minds of everyone who seeks information and learning opportunities.
Libraries have existed in Saskatchewan since the late 1800s, usually with sufficient support from the province. The first regional library on the prairies was established in 1950, based in Prince Albert. Before the next six regional libraries were established, libraries were into the process that led to an integrated online catalogue, and the much-appreciated convenient holds/interlibrary loans and membership cards that could be used everywhere.
A reliable predictor of future success in school and beyond is having been read to as a preschooler. Libraries help start children on a lifetime of literacy and success through story time and by assisting parents to select books for reading aloud at home, especially at bedtime. Students use public libraries for additional materials for homework and projects, for information on a topic that interests them or for a good book to read. Students maintain reading levels over July and August with summer reading programs.
Public libraries support everyone in their informational, educational, professional and recreational reading needs. They also support newcomers with materials in English and in their birth language, and provide quiet places to meet with tutors. Libraries support the efforts of agencies which work with newcomers.
Lois Hole, former Lieutenant-governor of Alberta, said, “Within a library can be found the seeds of a better tomorrow.” I believe her and hope that the government restores funding to all libraries.
Karen Labuik, Saskatoon
Source: Saskatoon StarPhoneix