Haliburton County’s libraries aren’t taking provincial cuts lying down.

According to Haliburton County Library Board Chair, Andrea Roberts, the board has sent off a letter asking the province to understand what cutting Southern Ontario Library Services budget means to the libraries locally.

In the letter, directed to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the board points out “The Ontario Library Services help Ontario’s public libraries provide equitable and economical access to
resources across the province, ensuring that all Ontarians have access to high-quality library service at a lower cost.”

The letter goes on to suggest the library services save taxpayers money by administering the provincial interlibrary Loan and delivery system, administering the Overdrive Download Centre consortium for eBooks and downloadable audiobooks, facilitating eResource purchasing, providing affordable training opportunities and consulting to libraries, and managing bulk purchasing agreements.

According to the board, the concern with cutting the funding for the services comes down to the fact the cost of library services will go up locally, as well as jeopardize the access to valuable resources.

“Libraries in rural areas already struggle to provide service over large geographic areas, with very tight budgets. The loss of the services offered by SOLS makes it harder for Haliburton County Public Library (HCPL) to provide service in our area. These increased costs will ultimately be borne by Ontario’s municipalities, and will either result in an increased burden on the taxpayer, but more likely a reduction in services.”

Although the cuts affect libraries across the province, the county board fears that the cuts will disproportionately hurt this community and communities like Haliburton County.