Owen Sound protest against provincial cuts to library services

People in Owen Sound protest the Ford goverment's cuts to library services (Kirk Scott photo)

A group of people staged a “read-in” in front of the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library Wednesday to protest cuts to library services.

The Ford government has slashed funding to libraries, and one of the programs chopped is the inter-library loan service. If a local library doesn’t have a desired book, it could be delivered from another library. But not anymore.

Those protesting say cutting the inter-library loan service hurts rural people whose local libraries are excellent but don’t have the space or the collection that libraries in bigger cities have.

Barbra Gordon and her husband live in Meaford and depend on the inter-library loan service for the books they want to read and for research.

“They’re really cutting a big part of our ability to do the research we want and to do everything else that other normal people in bigger cities can do,” said Gordon.

Richard Thomas, the chair of the Owen Sound Library board, said cutting funding to libraries robs people of knowledge and information.

“This strikes at the fundamental question about what libraries are really about,” she Thomas. “Libraries in my mind are the cornerstone of a good, clean democracy.”