Save Our Libraries

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As many of you may have heard, the Ontario Government is poised to cut funding of libraries by a total of 50 percent in its recent budget proclamation. Premier Doug Ford and MPP Sylvia Jones (Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport) have made a rash and ill-informed decision regarding removal of these resources from our libraries. This decrease in funding will have detrimental effects on public libraries across Ontario, thereby directly impacting the communities that utilize these vital spaces. 

Libraries are far more then the books, computers, videos and magazines which they hold. They are key community hubs that are used by those from all walks of life; all age groups, all genders, all races, all socioeconomic statuses. These inclusive spaces are a haven for those who are vulnerable. Without our libraries, our communities simply cannot thrive. Libraries are pivotal in creating and maintaining healthy, sustainable and culturally diverse communities within our society. 

Libraries are known for hosting an array of free and accessible workshops and gatherings. Some of these groups include, but are not limited to: resume creating, computer use 101, arts and crafts, beginners meditation, genealogy courses, plant seed exchanges, book clubs, french language learning, information for recently arrived immigrants and refugees, federal and provincial voting areas, and cooling/ warming stations in extreme weather conditions. Essentially, anything that one could possibly dream of learning or achieving, can be found within the walls of a library. 

Libraries not only bring people together, but they also hold a vast amount of knowledge from decades and centuries past. With support from libraries, we have unlimited access to historical archives including World War 1 and 2, words of famous poets such as William Shakespeare and Mary Oliver, stories of triumph and loss of our aboriginal ancestors, biographies of Anne Frank and Steve Jobs, science fiction novels depicting future utopias and dystopias, and all of the wonderful, mysterious, passionate narratives in between. 

For the health and well-being of all of our communities, we need to stand up for our libraries. This means standing up for education, innovation, and imagination. Libraries form a publicly funded sector which serves to inspire seedlings of hope and change. Libraries are our future. 

If this resonates with you, or if you have been positively impacted by libraries in any way shape or form, I encourage you to sign this petition to show the Government of Ontario that we, the public, need our libraries. As someone wise once said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world"- Mahatma Gandhi. One voice can make a difference, multiple voices can move mountains. 

Thank you,