Lakehead University lays off 6 full-time workers from library

Six full-time workers have been laid off from Lakehead University's library in Thunder Bay, the workers' union says.

University has declining enrolment, but layoffs may be due to changing technology

A local union president says the layoffs are due to fewer students using the library. (supplied)

Six full-time workers have been laid off from Lakehead University's library in Thunder Bay, the workers' union says.

Linda Guerard, president of Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union Local 96, said her understanding is that not as many students use the Chancellor Paterson Library as in years past.

"Times are changing," she said. "The library usage is down drastically. If you want to find anything, all you have to do is sit in the cafeteria on your laptop."

Guerard says although budgets always play a role, the university did not specify the layoffs were due to budget cuts. She said there are still union employees at the library, but she wasn't sure how many.

Lakehead said last month that it is projecting a $10.6 million budget shortfall next year because of declining enrolment — 470 fewer full-time equivalent students compared to last year.

The university has said changes to the education program, mandated by the province, are to blame for the drop in enrolement. 

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