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Public Libraries Need More Support


For Immediate Release

28 February, 2024

 

NDP Leader Jim Dinn (St. John’s Centre) was pleased to see funding finally announced for the NL Public Libraries (NLPL) but is calling on government to commit to increasing their annual funding in the upcoming budget.

 

Dinn says that government knows a one-time payment for public libraries to help with operating costs and purchase of supplies is not enough.

 

“In 2013 government cut annual funding for public libraries, taking it from $1.2 million down to $950,000. Funding has not been increased since,” said Dinn. “In the past 12 years we have seen the cost of books, both physical and eBooks, increase about 40%. Add in inflation, the cost of rent for libraries not in a government building, staffing, and more. Does the Minister think that this one-time payment is enough to make up for the harm consecutive governments have caused by cuts to NLPL’s annual funding?”

 

The NL NDP has long been a champion for a long-term plan with increased funding for public libraries, calling for government to invest as recently as August 2023.

 

 “We know that the number of users accessing libraries increased by 70% during the pandemic, and that the rate has stayed consistent ever since. We know demand for public libraries and their resources is there,” said Dinn. “Surely the Minister understands the true value and importance public libraries play in our communities. We are calling on government to commit to return funding to their annual operating budget.”

 

“Investing in public libraries means investing in our communities. It means investing in education for people of all ages. It means investing in a place that does not put up a financial barrier to access programs, and creates a safe social atmosphere.

 

“It’s time that this Liberal government create a long-term plan for investing in our public libraries.”

 

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For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or eddystcoeur@gov.nl.ca


NR 28022024 Public Libraries Need More Support
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