Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Save Toronto's Libraries

Toronto's new mayor seems determined to privatize almost all community services including, of course, the public library system. In his own words Mayor Doug Ford stated, “We’re going to be outsourcing everything that is not nailed down”.

A "Project Rescue" effort is underway and we want to promote their efforts here. From the website:
How could a private company make a profit running a free service that is funded by taxpayers?

The mandate of the private operator would be to reduce the level of public funding that now supports our libraries. At the same time, they need to make a profit. There is an inevitable conflict here which signals bad news for all library users, from children to seniors. First, local branches of the Toronto Public Library would almost certainly be closed. Library users would see higher user fees, fewer books and less access to the information and other vital services our public libraries offer for little or no cost as hours of operation are limited. The cuts to library staff that have been going on for years will be accelerated.

It's also bad news for our city. We would lose a powerful educational and cultural force that opens books and opens minds, taking from Toronto a public service that all other great cities jealously guard.
Read the article here.

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