Funding cuts under review

John M. Cuelenaere Public Library -- Herald file photo.

Administrators with the Wapiti Regional Library and John M. Cuelenaere Public Libraries are cautiously optimistic about a recent government decision to review the $4.8 million in cuts made to Saskatchewan libraries.

On Thursday, Premier Brad Wall announced that Education Minister Don Morgan would take a second look at the decision to completely remove $3.5 million in cuts to regional libraries, while axing $1.3 million in funding for libraries in Saskatoon in Regina.

After weeks of bad news, the announcement boosted the spirits of library administrators.

“I was pleased to hear that they were going to look at it again,” Wapiti Regional Library board chair Cheryl Bauer-Hyde said. “I think there’s been a fair amount of public reaction and input calling for the government to reconsider their decision. We don’t know what that looks like yet, or the time frame, but certainly if they’re willing to reconsider reinstating the funding, that would be good news.”

The Wapiti Regional Library, which is headquartered in Prince Albert but serves 45 branches in the area, will lose 58 per cent of its funding if no changes are made.

Bauer-Hyde said it will be nearly impossible to maintain services, even if the province restores some of the lost funding.

For the rest of this story, please see the April 22 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.