The libraries in the area are feeling the effects of cuts to the Southern Ontario Library Services.

Bessie Sullivan, the CEO of the Haliburton County Public Libraries, told county council today the province cutting the SOLS funding in half is going to have a direct impact on the services they offer.

Sullivan explained that with the SOLS budget cut, the libraries are no longer offering the interlibrary loan services. ILL was a service that delivered books from one library to another as a way to offer more to library users in rural communities. According to Sullivan, SOLS simply cannot afford to run the service with the budget they have now. She also says that 24 delivery drivers are losing their jobs as well.

Last year, the delivery drivers took over 710,000 packages to 153 libraries across southern Ontario, including HCPL.

Another thing being directly affected by the SOLS cuts is the number of physical books that the libraries take in. Sullivan says SOLS delivered books to them at a reduced shipping rate. Although the library isn’t sure exactly how much book deliveries will cost them going forward, Sullivan explained that they receive 81 items a week.

The CEO says that they were told that core library funding isn’t going to get touched, but regardless of that, the libraries will not operate to the standard they were with the loss of ILL and potentially a reduction in the items getting delivered.

Sullivan says that the HCPL Board of Directors are going to meet and figure out what’s next, but they won’t know the next steps until then.