By Mabell, Dave on November 14, 2019.
Alberta’s new budget contained good news for the province’s community libraries.
While it called for cuts to a variety of public services, the budget maintained last year’s $37 million in support of libraries and related services.
“We’re very pleased that they recognized the importance of public libraries,” says Terra Plato, chief executive officer of the Lethbridge Public Library.
“We’ll receive the same dollar amount,” about $500,000. The balance of the local library system’s budget is covered by the City of Lethbridge.
Lethbridge and Chinook Arch library operations also benefit from government-provided services included in that $37 million, Plato pointed out.
“This funding will allow libraries to continue delivering important library services to Albertans, including job-seeking assistance, language-learning, and support for people with print disabilities,” Municipal Affairs Minister Kaycee Madu said, in announcing his budget allocation.
“Our libraries are vital community and learning hubs that support local programs while bringing families and neighbours together. Libraries are essential to our strong quality of life in Alberta and I am proud to support them.”
Alberta has more than 320 local libraries, officials say, with at least 1.4 million Albertans holding a library card. More than 21 million physical and virtual visits are recorded by Alberta libraries every year.