MidlandToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected] or via our website. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following is an open letter to the Township of Tiny councillors about the its library access agreements with surrounding municipalities.
I am angry and frustrated to hear about the withdrawal of Tiny’s funding for its residents’ use of the local libraries in Penetang, Midland and Springwater.
This has been done in such an underhanded and non-transparent manner and simply presented as a done deal with a much lesser level of service now proposed. You did not campaign on this issue either.
As a decades long user of both the Penetang and Midland libraries, I would like to know how you arrived at this decision, which will now be providing Tiny residents with a much lower level of access.
You have said you will reimburse residents for their out-of-pocket payment to keep access to one library only, with limited membership per household.
But it seems to me that in this time of financial difficulty for so many, especially those with young families or students that will be harmed by this restrictive access, they may have to chose food and rent over paying that fee out of pocket.
Where’s the equity in that? Is your plan to make it impossible for folks to have this essential service?
I would like to see the numbers that your proposal for a new library in Tiny are based on. The location will be in most cases farther for people to travel; our township is large.
And it takes years to build a collection that will compare in any way to the excellent resources at the Midland and Penetang library, never mind the unique access provided to Francophone resources in Penetang. And as you know, we have a large Francophone population which deserves to be fairly represented.
I use these libraries on at least a weekly basis and always have a book on the go. I have taken technology courses at the library, been able to do research, used the amazing Maker Space lab for many projects and sought the excellent assistance of the highly skilled staff.
My granddaughters look forward to at least two or three weekly visits to the library for special programs and research and this will not longer be available to them.
As a school principal, I know that extraordinary costs with building a brick and mortar repository for library materials, the cost of staffing it properly and of course the ongoing cost of building a collection.
I would hope that in this era of limited funds council would reconsider its decision and reach out to the three excellent local libraries to reinstate the access to premium collections, excellent programs and the expertise of staff we have enjoyed for many years.
Building a new library in Tiny is out of date thinking when we could easily and economically work with our town partners to share! I would rather you spend our tax dollars on the infrastructure such as road repairs. Nobody else will be funding those!
Libraries have long been at the heart of our communities and societies, indeed our humanity. Please go back to the agreements you had and let Tiny residents continue to enjoy the full benefits of a well-resourced and well-used library system.
Mrs. Noel Macartney