The provincial library associations says that five librarians have lost their jobs because of cuts to funding for public libraries in Newfoundland and Labrador.
In a news release, the Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association said the five librarians were given layoff notices on Wednesday that were effective immediately. The association said other librarians have been forced to take reduced pay and work less hours.
According to the release, last week’s provincial budget saw $1.2 million cut from the budget for public libraries. The association said there are nine librarians left to manage 96 public libraries provincewide.
Budget cuts have also impacted several information technology positions specific to public libraries.
“The Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association is appalled at the short sightedness of this decision,” said the association in the release. “Without specially trained and educated librarians and library support staff, who will select and purchase books and library resources from the remaining budget?”
It said the cuts will also impact the ability of libraries to facilitate lifelong learning programs and to offer public Internet service, adding that the cuts will have a noticeable impact on libraries in rural areas.
“The Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association is disappointed that the government of Newfoundland and Labrador fails to understand the direct link between an informed and literate public and a prosperous economy yet again and the essential roles libraries play in this area.”