Library left reeling after 50% cut in support from province

Christine Row
CEO/Chief Librarian

Mississippi Mills Public Library

The Boards of the Carleton Place and Mississippi Mills Public libraries are reeling from a 50 percent cut to provincial library services.

The cut was delivered by the Ontario government in its 2019 budget.

“Cutting the budgets of the Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) and Ontario Library Service-North (OLS-North) will have a direct impact on library services in Lanark County,” says Carleton Place Librarian Meriah Caswell.

Due to the budget cuts, all interlibrary loan delivery services have ceased. Interlibrary loan moves books, DVDs and CDs between libraries. In 2018 the service filled 1853 requests for Carleton Place patrons, and 1937 for patrons of Mississippi Mills Public Library.

“Public libraries rely on the Interlibrary Loan service to supplement our collections,” says Mississippi Mills Librarian Christine Row. “This will have a direct impact on our ability to meet the information needs of our communities.”

SOLS also manages the Overdrive eBook and eAudiobook collection, and organizes group purchasing of online research databases used by library patrons, making them affordable for small rural libraries. They also provide training to library staff and boards.

“These are services that are used daily by our library patrons. We haven’t had word yet of how these services will be affected, but we feel like we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop,” says Caswell.

To share how these changes affect you, contact local MPP Randy Hillier at 613-257-8130, or through the feedback form on his website, www.randyhilliermpp.com.

You can also write Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. 6th Floor, 438 University Avenue, Toronto ON M5G 2K8.

For more information, please contact Christine Row crow@mississippimills.ca 613-256-1037 or Meriah Caswell mcaswell@carletonplace.ca 613-257-2702.