Take library fight to MHAs, C.B.S. residents told

The mayor of Conception Bay South said the town will lose its library if residents do not successfully lobby provincial politicians.

Conception Bay South seeking cost-sharing deal with provincial government

The mayor of Conception Bay South said the town will lose its library if residents do not successfully lobby provincial politicians.

More than 150 people filled a room on Tuesday night to talk about how they can prevent the public library from closing.

Conception Bay South Mayor Ken McDonald says the voices of ordinary citizens, in large numbers, are needed to save the town's library. (CBC)

There is no space allotted for the library in the new municipal building, and the existing library is slated to disappear when the town's current town hall is sold.

Mayor Ken McDonald said an organized lobbying effort could make the difference in keeping a public library in the town. Operation of libraries comes under provincial jurisdiction.

"We want a new library here in Conception Bay South. All of council wants a new library," McDonald said, adding that the town wants either a cost-sharing deal with the province, or a lease arrangement that would allow the construction of a new building.

'Whatever it takes'

"Lobby the provincial government, lobby your MHAs, lobby the ministers, lobby the premier — whatever it takes," McDonald said.

"It all starts from here. It's people like you guys got to do it, it can't be just me every time I run into Minister [Terry] French or MHA [Tom] Hedderson and say, 'hey, anything new on the library.' It's got to be numbers."

Holly Marsh started a Facebook group to help save the library in Conception Bay South. (CBC)

McDonald said the provincial government was planning to study the role of libraries, but money for that research was cut in the last budget.

A grassroots campaign is underway. On Sunday, C.B.S. resident Holly Marsh started a Facebook page to save the library. As of Tuesday night it already had more than 750 members. 

"My family would really, really miss the library if it had to disappear, and so many people would," she said.

"We just need to keep that in the community."


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