Wednesday, June 1, 2016

More than just books, libraries act as equalizers By Craig and Marc Kielburger

A student enters a library. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)             
If you want to rile up a Canadian, threaten to take away their library.

Craig got his first taste of activism speaking out to save our local library. We've noticed ever since then that when provinces and cities experience a budget crunch, libraries are often first on the chopping block. Yet invariably, citizens rise up to protect them from extinction.

Newfoundland's plan to shutter more than half its public libraries sparked a recent protest by thousands at the provincial legislature. Comedian and commentator Rick Mercer lambasted the government with one of his trademark rants.

When the town council of McNab-Braeside, a rural community near Ottawa, decided to cancel an arrangement that gave residents free access to the library in the neighbouring town of Arnprior, almost a third of the entire township signed a petition in protest. Then they voted out all five councillors in the next election.

In the age of e-readers, search engines, and Wikipedia, why do Canadians still cling so tenaciously to these seemingly archaic institutions? Because libraries are so much more than just repositories for books.  Read more...

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