Saskatoon

Province needs to reverse cuts to save loan program: Saskatoon library head

The CEO of Saskatoon Public Library says there is no way to restore the provincial library-to-library loan system unless the cuts in this year's provincial budget are reversed.

Library swallowing $800K operating shortfall

The CEO of the Saskatoon Public Library says there is no way to restore the library-to-library loan system given provincial cuts. (Stock photo)

The CEO of Saskatoon Public Library says there is no way to restore the provincial library-to-library loan system unless the cuts in this year's provincial budget are reversed. 

Carol Cooley said maintaining the province's One Province, One Card program is simply impossible given the budget cutbacks announced last month.

It allowed users to take out and return books at virtually all library locations across the province, regardless of where their card was issued. 

Saskatoon's library will see all its provincial funding slashed this year, resulting in a $800,000 operating shortfall. 

"If this service is deemed important to Saskatchewan, funding will need to be restored by the provincial government, as library systems, including SPL, will not be able to absorb the significant costs to participate,"  Cooley said.

Carol Cooley is the CEO of Saskatoon Public Library. (CBC)

On Wednesday, Education Minister Don Morgan said again that despite the cuts, he would like to see the library-to-library loan system stay in place.

Morgan said the government has invested $1.1 million in the library-to-library loan system, but Cooley said that cash only supports part of the work. 

Cooley said there are "significant staffing costs" associated with the program. There are also costs associated with moving books within the city. 

She added that Saskatoon has the busiest library in the province and processes most of library-to-library loans.

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