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Saturday, April 18, 2009

making it easier for albertans to read books.

On a weekly basis, elected official in Alberta provide a lot of material to write about, and because it's easy for politicians and politicos (and bloggers) to fall into a trap of constant negative criticism and partisanship, it's not hard to overlook positive changes and ideas that are contributed.

This week, a committee of three MLAs contributed to positive change when it recommended an increase in funding for public libraries for the first time in 20-years. While minuscule when compared to other government expenditures, the $9 million announced increase is an positive move and will increase current the budget for public libraries by 39%.

The MLA Committee on the Future of Public Library Service in Alberta, which included PC MLAs Jeff Johnson, Fred Horne, and Teresa Woo-Paw, made a number of positive recommendations in their final report that, if implemented, could strengthen public libraries in Alberta.

A strong public library system can play an integral role in creating healthy communities in Alberta.

10 comments:

don iveson said...

Agreed. This was a courageous move in a difficult budgetary year. I'm looking forward as an EPL trustee to being able to properly fund some needed programs for new Canadians, youth and aboriginal populations, and the two million for innovative technology projects will create some good opportunities.

WernerPatels said...

making it easier for albertans to read books.You're assuming, of course, that we do. ;-)

Earl J. Woods said...

I was surprised by this move, too, and felt moved to blog about the same issue, considering the number of speeches about libraries I've had to write over the years.

Anonymous said...

To Don Iveson: What would be really super would be if this increased funding went towards general programming, rather than your targetted suggestions. New Canadians and youth have yet to pay the taxes funding this increase. How about some spending that rewards those that earned these dollars?

Anonymous said...

Quit being so hyperpartisan, Dave.

daveberta said...

Anonymous 8:29pm: I suppose the same could be said for Elementary schools and daycares.

Creating healthy communities through a stronger public library system will be effective if all members of the community, including new Canadians and young people, can have access and enjoy the benefits.

Christine said...

Great investment. Thanks for drawing my attention to it, Dave.

Anonymous said...

With everything online these days, what a waste of money this is. And we wonder why we have a $4.7 billion deficit. One word: stupid!

Chandler Kent said...

Anon at 4:14, did you ever stop to think that the people who can benefit most from enhanced library services - new Canadians, the poor and the recently unemployed, for example - are the ones who also are least likely to have a computer or high-speed internet. Not everyone is as lucky as we are. And, people still like to hold a book and read it. It's always been my greatest pleasure (okay, second greatest), and I do have high-speed. This would have been cheap at twice the price.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for bringing this positive news to light, Dave, I think it's a tremendous boost ... especially for smaller/regional libraries who will likely notice an immediate impact on their ability to provide/enhance programs and services.

Libraries are an important part of a community's civic and social fabric, and providing access to information remains a basic service ... I, for one, am glad to see it better funded.

Cheers,
Jennifer