editorial: Libraries in Toronto could be the next to go on the cutting block
KJ Mullins-Toronto: As Toronto’s City Hall looks at ways to cut down the budget going to the local library may be a thing of the past.
Despite the fact that residents of Toronto disagree with closing local library branches to solve the city’s money woes libraries are proposed to be on the cutting block.
Mayor Ford and City Hall seem to be forgetting over 1.25 million people in Toronto have a library card and visit their local branch often. Libraries are a core of many communities of the city. Story times for the young often start the love of reading at local branches. School kids flock to libraries for studying and help from the staff. Adults linger to find a new read. Libraries are simply to important to a society to take a risk with.
Last week a Forum Research poll found that over half of Toronto residents do not want their libraries to become a private service. In fact seven in ten Torontonians disagree when the Toronto Public Library is mentioned as a privatization target.
City councilors that are thinking about voting against keeping Toronto’s libraries public may want to be on the look out for a new job during the next election. When asked if they knew of their local city councilor supporting closing library branches those polled said that knowledge would be a factor when they voted.
Today the Toronto Public Library Workers Union conducted a media conference at City Hall to announce the results of the survey and launch a public campaign against Toronto Public Library privatization.
Already the city is dealing with reduced hours and Sunday closures to local branches. Mayor Rob Ford was not at the meeting today but plans are underway to present him with an oversized ceremonial library card.
The question is would Mayor Ford use the card?