THUNDER BAY – OPINION – The Thunder Bay Public Library holds a key but often misunderstood place in our city. As Thunder Bay City Council heads into setting the budget, one of the places where making cuts should not be at the library.
Here is why:
- The library is not just a place for books. The library in our city has become a critically vital part of our social safety network. Everyday people are taking to the Waverly and Brodie Street branches to escape the heat in summer and stay warm in winter. The importance of this simple reality is actually saving money for the city. While Toronto opens cooling stations in summer and warming shelters in winter, our libraries were smart enough to see this need and cover it.
- The Library has become the connection to the Internet for thousands in our city. As Community Hubs our libraries are making a huge and positive difference in the lives of many by providing this vital service.
- Our libraries have become portals to positive change in Thunder Bay. Whether it is the amazing children’s section, or the vast number of really good programming, the library is helping families in our city.
The Thunder Bay Library hosts more than 1.1 million visits per year, and has loaned out almost half a million books and educational materials and has put on more than 770 programs in 2022 alone.
Theses efforts saves citizens tens of millions of dollars a year by providing free, loanable collections and services and publicly accessible space that each person would otherwise have to pay for individually.
If there is one place that needs both the support of Council and our citizens this budget cycle it is the library.