A Sad Time for Libraries
We, the members of the Hanover Public Library Board, announce with sadness and disappointment that the Inter-library Loans service at the Hanover Public Library has been discontinued due to recent provincial government cuts.
In the past, people in Hanover could ask our library for any library book in Ontario. The Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) provided the tracking system and shipping service that allowed every library to borrow and lend books and other materials across southern Ontario. This month, the Ontario Government cut SOLS’ 2019 operating funding by about 50%. SOLS had no choice but to shut down the deliveries system. With this size cut, other SOLS library services may also be reduced.
The SOLS loans service provided fast and efficient sharing of books and other materials between libraries. In 2018 our library borrowed 1,033 items from other libraries for Hanover members (about 20 items every week). SOLS moved an average of 1,118 books per day at the mere cost of 82 cents per Ontario library card holder per year. Loss of the loans service will severely restrict the range of items that our members will be able to access from now on.
Our small library and many others like ours depend heavily on the province-wide services provided by SOLS and the Ontario Library Service-North (OLS-N). SOLS and OLS-N were created to provide efficient resource sharing across Ontario, stretching every dollar and allowing small and remote libraries to provide essential library services to everyone, regardless of where they live in the province. For example, our small library could never afford to buy a viable collection of e-books. Through SOLS, people have free access to the Overdrive collection of over 60,000 e-book titles at a fraction of the cost.
We are appealing to the Ontario Government to reconsider its decision about the cuts to SOLS and OLS-N operating funding. We urge all Hanover area residents to sign our petition which is available at the library. Even if you personally are not a library member, please consider signing the petition to support library services.
If you wish to make your own personal approach, please contact your local MPP and Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
Share the value of your local library on social media using #saveourlibraries and sign the “Stop the cuts to the Southern Ontario Library Service and Ontario Library Service – North” petition available through change.org
Andrew Edgcumbe, Steve Fitzsimmons (Council appointee), Francis-Joseph Gross, Edwin Haas, Kathi Maskell (Chair), Susan Sakal (Vice-chair) and Mike Schierz, all of Hanover