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Summerford Library closure doesn’t sit well

Dear Editor, The new budget that has been decided on by our new Liberal Government is heart wrenching and cruel. 

I’m not sure how Newfoundlanders are going to survive these intensive extreme cuts plus all the increased taxes.

One “huge” concern to many of the people are the upcoming closures of 54 libraries.

We in Summerford are absolutely horrified and very angry that our library, or any library, is on a closure list! Our library was first opened in 1962 and is very important as it serves a large rural area which includes Summerford, Cottlesville, Virgin Arm, Carters Cove, Tizzards Harbour, Moreton's Harbour, Valley Pond, Bridgeport, Chanceport, Hillgrade, Fairbanks Cobbs Arm, Too Good Arm, Pikes Arm, Indian Cove and Herring Neck. In our area we have many people who cannot afford to drive to another town to borrow books or use the computers. Many of them walk to our library as they do not even own a vehicle! Not to mention the cost of gas if they did have transportation!

Our library provides Wi-Fi to this area and is the only public Wi-Fi location between Lewisporte and Twillingate. In addition to this we have the only public computers in the whole area! Many people visit our library in order to scan, print or fax important documents. Just this past winter our library provided Wi-Fi plus computers enabling multiple students to write their college exams. This library provides a quiet place for students to have after school tutoring which increases their learning and knowledge, for future use in life. We have had people from all over the world come to use our library.

There are local reading groups or Book Clubs who are able to order several copies of their current read using interlibrary loan which they do each and every month. We have reading programs for children called “Story Time” that introduces them to books and reading which encourages not only a love for books but interest in a skill that they will need and use for the rest of their life. Every summer we become partners with Community Youth Network, one day per week. This gives the children in their program another much needed opportunity to learn more about books, reading and crafts.

We also have on-going programs such as scrapbooking and photography classes that are a vital sharing, learning opportunity for adults. Many of our patrons have been using this library since it first opened and will be at a loss without it. Patrons say it is their favourite place to come, a place to get away from daily stresses so they can just read and relax. They wonder what on earth they will do if it is closed and there is no place they can go.

How on earth, do you think people will be able to continue reading books with no library here? Plus you have definitely added insult to injury by placing an extra tax on books people can purchase, making buying a book impossible for the ordinary person! What do you think will happen to our literacy rate in Newfoundland? It will become a skill only for the most affluent people.

Beside the above facts, who in their right mind can justify the two libraries in this province costing $200,000 each year? How is it “right” to keep them open and close 54 other libraries?  Are the people in Corner Brook and Conception Bay South more worthy?

What does it cost all tax payers to keep the Legislative Library open? We feel you could close it first and foremost with a large savings!

We have not been informed how many libraries in St. John’s are being closed. People there have access to other libraries that are in close proximity. So are we not as worthy as taxpayers in St. Johns?

All Cabinet Ministers and MLA’s included should take a pay cut. Definitely no 14 per cent raises, even though it has been set aside, for Judges who already make huge salaries. From now on when you travel on provincial business you should all do so on ordinary aircraft like anyone else! We could surely save money this way! No more luxury hotel suites that we “The People” pay for when you travel for provincial business. Oh, and one last thing remember you work for us!


Sharon Baggs


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