ontario libraries

Ontario is cutting public library funding in half

Libraries are one of the few places left in the world where there's something for everyone. They're not just for books— they also run community events, groups, activities, daycares, cafes, and much, much more. 

However, that might be changing in Ontario as the provincial government has essentially slashed library funding by 50 per cent. 

The news comes as a shock to many who love the library, especially those who recognize it as one of the last public places you can be without the expectation of spending money, which is like an oasis in today's world. 

The Ontario library system is run mainly through two branches, the Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) and Ontario Library Service-North. SOLS CEO Barbara Franchetto says funding will have to be cut by 50 per cent and absorbed into the current fiscal year. 

The province's budget, recently released to the chagrin and joy of many on both sides of the political spectrum. It included plans to cut funding to the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport (which funds the Ontario Library Service) from $1.55 billion to $1.49 billion. 

Within the cuts to this Ministry, much of the funding available to the library services is being taken away. This amounts to the 50 per cent cut to the libraries. 

Toronto's public library system is funded mostly by the City of Toronto, so these cuts should not have as large an impact as those covered under the SOLS. 

So, if you want to help support your library, maybe don't hang to your books for 32 years

Lead photo by

Jackman Chiu


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