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Today, readers are responding to news that Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government is cutting funding to two organizations responsible for connecting libraries across Northern and Southern Ontario.

Open this photo in gallery:

Kids make crafts at the Orillia Public Library.Chris Donovan/For The Globe and Mail

Jack Canuck:

This is a case where the government knows the cost of everything, but the value of nothing.


What did Ontario think was going to happen when they elected Ford?

Res ipsa loquitor in response:

You make a fair point but the electorate seemed to take a reactionary swing as far as possible away from Kathleen Wynne. Doug Ford also deliberately hid his agenda, claiming he would find all the money needed through cutting waste and inefficiency. He would not have won if he had campaigned on taking aim at aim at libraries, making drastic changes in health care and cutting public health and health care funding and increasing class sizes significantly. His campaign was controlled smoke and mirrors. If the Liberals re-establish themselves as a centrist party behind a popular and credible leader, they can win the next election. Or by then electorate may be willing to take a chance on the NDP again since many voters were not born yet when Bob Rae was in power. Andrea Horwath would also move to the centre to make that happen.


I don’t even know why we need libraries. Physical books aren’t needed. Read on an electronic device or research on the internet. That’s called progress. Many libraries are just havens for homeless individuals during the day. That’s not what they are designed for. Maybe we should take the savings from cutting libraries and use it to help homeless people instead. We can’t keep spending money we don’t have. Libraries are low hanging fruit.

app_65946887 in response:

Visit your local Library. Where I live it functions as a valuable community centre that does a lot of good. And the homeless people who spend time there have access to these resources, and I've never seen them cause trouble of any kind. Secondly, there are reams of data that demonstrate people learn better from physical books than they do from reading on electronic devices. Children use libraries; they learn in libraries. Children learning -- that's what I call progress.

The Clever Pup:

My father, Ray Smith was the librarian for Parry Sound and the Director of the now-defunct Algonquin Library System. In 1961, Ray wrote an article for the Ontario Library Association proposing an interlibrary loan scheme for the province's small libraries, similar to that he had witnessed in England.He was advised that if he was interested in expanding library services, he should begin. The next year, the Muskoka/Parry Sound Regional Library Co-operative came into existence. It caught on in the rest of the province. The library is an early and important example of how socialism can work. I'm glad Dad isn't around to see it diminished in such a way.


Online materials supplement physical books. Whoever read a bedtime story to a child from the Internet? I remember how as a child I was desperate for something to read when there was no library, no bookstore, and not enough money in the family to buy books anyway. I have always felt I would have been a better lifelong student if I had had more access to books in those early years to expand my knowledge.


Crying and whining but no solutions. Too much lament for programs with good intentions but little in measurable benefits but with the defence of good intentions. We are spending more than we bring in and cuts have to be made, just not you. But keep espousing more government and more income equality through higher taxation and see where that leads you.


Physical books are the past. Instead of shuttling books in a van, have people read on an iPad or similar (supplied yourself or loaners from the library). As a proof point that this is reasonable, YOU almost certainly consumed your newspaper in paper form in the past, but are now reading this article online. Last vacation, both my wife and I read from electronic devices, and this was great since we didn’t have to stuff them all in the suitcase and I grabbed a new book on the beach. If money needs saving (it does) then chopping physical books is a decent place.

Sceptical1 in response:

Many rural communities have poor internet service, particularly in the northern parts of the province. The inter-library loans system is still very valuable for areas with small libraries and eager readers. Shame on Ford for cutting the library budgets so heavily. He does not believe in education, and he is sure acting on this.

JRexdale also in response:

Thanks for your post Sceptical1, it is incredible that so many people assume everyone can afford electronic devices and internet access. There are many communities in Ontario where there is no internet.

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From the Comments is designed to highlight interesting and thoughtful contributions from our readers. Some comments have been edited for clarity. Everyone can read the comments but only subscribers will be able to contribute. Thank you to everyone furthering debate across our site.

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