Thank you so much from everyone here in Newfoundland and Labrador. We are all truly blessed to have such a supportive group of colleagues across the county and beyond. I will make sure this letter is posted on the NLLA website, ASAP.

Thank you once again!

NLLA President


Amanda Tiller-Hackett, BA (Hons), MA, MLIS
Humanities Collection Development Librarian
Queen Elizabeth II Library, MUN
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From: APLA-List List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Suzanne van den Hoogen
Sent: May-03-16 3:36 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [APLA] NL & Labrador Public Library Closures: Advocacy Letter

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to let you know that the following letter will be submitted to the Premier of NL as well as the Members of the House of Assembly, on behalf of the Atlantic Provinces Library Association. This is a very distressing time for our colleagues in Newfoundland and Labrador, and we want to ensure that they know APLA stands with them during this crisis.

On behalf of the APLA Executive, I would like to acknowledge and extend our gratitude to the APLA Advocacy Committee for their work on this project.

Suzanne van den Hoogen
APLA VP President-Elect

[cid:[log in to unmask]]

c/o School of Information Management
Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University
Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
6100 University Avenue Halifax, NS  B3H 3J5

May 3, 2016

RE: Open Letter Regarding the Closure of 54 Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries

Dear Premier:

The news of the impending cuts to the Newfoundland and Labrador public library system was met with distress and disbelief by the members of our association.  APLA represents approximately 400 library workers and library supporters across the Atlantic region. I am writing on their behalf to ask that you reconsider the decision to close 54 of NL's 95 public libraries.

The importance of public libraries cannot be overstated.  They promote literacy by introducing young minds to the joys of reading and the acquisition of knowledge; they are an entry point into the world of lifelong learning; they are safe places for vulnerable members of the community, the young and the old, to engage in wholesome and fulfilling activities; they are meeting places where ideas are shared and plans that further individual and community goals are hatched; they are unique in their mission, providing irreplaceable services to their communities.  In short, public libraries improve quality of life for those citizens who have ready access to them.

Even in these difficult economic times, which we certainly acknowledge, it is hard to fathom that such drastic actions are warranted.   From newspaper accounts, we understand that the budget reduction goal was one million dollars, and the library closures are presented as providing the necessary savings.  However, for dollars saved there are dollars spent on such things as EI and support services for the 64 workers who will lose their livelihood; the impact of lost income on the communities affected; health costs related to stress and other maladies; and the social costs related to educational deficits over time and the weakening of community ties.  Is it possible that in the end, the two columns - savings and new expenditures - will cancel each other out?  How much money will really be saved?

Each of the libraries slated for closure is the result of community engagement as well as provincial government funding.  Their vitality reflects thousands of hours of volunteer work and the direct financial and in kind contributions of the people they serve.  They have flourished over many years of constant dedicated effort.  Libraries are easier to tear down than to build in the first place, or to rebuild.  The damage done, if these closures go ahead, will be irreversible and will make hardly a dent in the province's bottom line.

The concerns we raise here are not unique to us; in fact, we are certain you share them.  We therefore urge you to reconsider these closures - which can only have a devastating impact on affected communities, and we thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.


Suzanne van den Hoogen
APLA VP President-Elect

CC: Members of the House of Assembly