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LETTER: Proposed cuts to library budget are unacceptable

'St. Albert’s library is more than a place to borrow books; it is a place where the community comes together.'

Re: "Library not keen on more cuts," The Gazette, Aug. 31.

It is with surprise and consternation that I read the article on the library’s potential budget cuts. As a 47-year resident of St. Albert, and a prolific user and supporter of the library, I’m very concerned that council is not recognizing the invaluable contribution the library makes to the quality of life in St. Albert. There is no doubt the proposed cuts over the next three years would be devastating and from my perspective they are unjustifiable.

It is understandable that council is looking for ways to manage its budget, but targeting the library for such a high proposed budget cut raises the question of whether the city is committed to providing high-quality library services to city residents. Just two years ago the library took a seven-per-cent cut in its budget and has been operating on this reduced budget since. It is critical that council realizes cutting the library so drastically will significantly impact library services necessary to the community.

St. Albert’s library is more than a place to borrow books; it is a place where the community comes together. It offers a mix of services and programs that serve all age groups. Some of these services help employers find employees and help residents find jobs. Our library helps high school and post-secondary students with research resources and a space to study and meet with others to work on projects. Our library has shown over the years that its use numbers are among the top, compared to its peer libraries.

Being quietly effective appears to have worked to the detriment of the library in terms of getting the support it requires from the city. I hope the citizens of St. Albert will let council know the proposed cuts to the library budget are unacceptable.

Valerie Spink, St. Albert