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West Nipissing councillor says northern library cuts should concern residents

 The Southcentral Town of Tecumseth is getting support from West Nipissing to have the government restore library services to 2018 levels.

Local councillor Jeremy Seguin says the West Nipissing Public Library might not have been hit as hard as other libraries but it will see job losses.

Seguin says the library is losing five fulltime union equivalent positions and a sixth position is becoming part-time.

In addition, a full-time equivalent non-union position will be eliminated at the end of the fiscal year and a second position in this group is being converted into part-time hours.

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Seguin adds while Southern Ontario has seen the restoration of services, the same can’t be said of libraries in the North.

He says the loss of professional jobs in the North should be a concern to all Northerners.

Seguin says the hit northern libraries are taking is not only unfair, it’s also disproportionate.

Libraries have a long history of letting other libraries borrow their books if a member requests it.

Seguin says it used to be when this happened, the Ontario Library Service would cover the transportation cost to get a book from one library to the other.

He says now the library asking for the book will have to cover the cost to get it.

Seguin says if a library’s budget is already tight, it means from time to time it may have to refuse a user’s request for certain books.

Seguin says it’s not just the loss of losing access to some books.

He says there’s a loss of technology consulting services which leaves small libraries with limited technical capacity.

If some libraries lose their website services, Seguin says those smaller facilities might have a hard time just trying to maintain a website presence.

Seguin points out the cuts include the loss of a First Nations Skills Advisor which affects Ontario First Nations Libraries.

Seguin says these are just some of the impacts libraries in small and rural communities in the north face.

The West Nipissing councillor cautions more programs could be endangered in future years if their costs rise or budgets are exceeded.




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