Open Letter to Steve Clark MPP Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.
Dear Mr. Clark:
There are many budget-cutting actions by your government that seem not to be for the people of Ontario, but actually detrimental to the greater well-being of the province.
I believe the elimination of funding for inter-library loans is ill-considered and doctrinaire. You should know there are many small libraries in Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes. Thousands of people will lose access to books not on the shelves of their local library.
I frequent the Merrickville Public Library and the Kemptville Branch of the North Grenville Public Library. In 2018, inter-library loans brought in an average of 220 books a month for library card holders in Kemptville and 92 into Merrickville. Conversely, Kemptville sent 140 books to other libraries, and Merrickville 72. Project these figures across Ontario for the 4.5 million Ontarians, or nearly 33 per cent of the population, holding a public library card. This is the 2015 statistic cited on the Ontario Public Library page of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport Web page.
In the next few months, I had intended to order about five titles I know not to be available locally. Imagine, if you can, how many others in your riding and across the province will be equally disadvantaged. Perhaps you and your colleagues on the government benches should acquaint yourselves with the 2017 library statistics at www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/libraries/statistics_2017.shtml.
I look forward to your reply being more detailed than the usual speaking points.
Please consider this an open letter.