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School Library Cuts Highlight Changing Technology

March 31, 2017


Provincial cuts to school libraries highlight a steady decline in library usage

In Saskatchewan, the provincial government has cut funding for school libraries. This may seem a surprising development, since libraries traditionally play a central role in the educational journey through public school. The government notes, however, that library usage has been in steady decline:

 

During Thursday's question period [Education Minister Don] Morgan again defended the multimillion-dollar cuts to libraries in the provincial budget by saying that usage has gone down significantly in the last decade. "Items checked out of the libraries since '07 has dropped by 1.6 million. Number of library cards down by 175,000," Morgan said in question period.

 

These numbers reflect a broader trend across Canada, not only in school libraries but public libraries as well. People just aren’t using libraries the way used to, leaning instead toward digital technology. Debate continues to rage about how to respond to this phenomenon, but while the debate continues, library usage continues to decline. It’s hard to know what the future holds for the good old school library -- or the local library.

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