Fighting Doug Ford's budget cuts to Ontario libraries - 2019-05-14
Ontario's Doug Ford government recently tabled a budget imposing substantial cuts to the Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) and Ontario Library Service North (OLSN). These provincial agencies provide numerous services to local libraries including training, technical support and inter-library loans.
SOLS exists so "the public has equitable access to library services thus supporting a dynamic cultural environment, economic vitality and quality of life." And OLSN says:
"In the North there are approximately 121 public libraries representing cities, towns, townships, local service boards, First Nation communities and fly-in communities over a vast geographic area. We endeavour to assist and provide services to encourage library development in some of Northern Ontario's most remote locations."
Under Ford's budget, SOLS' allocation is cut in half and OLSN's will also be cut. Consequently, both agencies have suspended their inter-library loans services. These changes will have an immediate impact on library patrons, especially those in rural and remote areas.