Village objects to possible library funding cuts

  • Aug. 7, 2009 6:00 p.m.

“Don’t cut funding for the library.” In a nutshell, that’s the message Queen Charlotte council has just sent the provincial government. Councillor Gladys Noddin-who’s also on the Vancouver Island Regional Library board- brought the issue to council’s attention. She told those attending the August 4 meeting that Victoria is considering reducing or stopping altogether funding for libraries, and that those cuts may be announced when the library is three-quarters through the year, which would make the problem even more acute.”We have to fight for what we have now”, councillor Kris Olsen told council, while councillor Noddin said “we have to stand up for what we have traditionally been given.””The grant (to the library) is essential. The budget is tight, if they don’t get the grant, they have to cut services, cut staff or cut books,” mayor Carol Kulesha said. The letter, sent August 6, says there’s a “dark atmosphere of apprehension” about possible cuts, and argues that the province’s timing is off. “Now, during this current, uncertain economic recession is not the time to reduce those grants.The Village of Queen Charlotte urges the government of British Columbia to act responsibly concerning the 2009 grant freeze and to reject any cuts to library funding in the upcoming provincial budget.” VIRL operates on an annual budget of about $16-million, with $1.4-million coming from Victoria. It operates on Vancouver Island and has four branches on Haida Gwaii.