Provincial library workers in Newfoundland and Labrador are on a mission to save public libraries. On June 22, CUPE members in Corner Brook, Stephenville, Grand Falls-Windsor, St. John’s, Mount Pearl and Labrador City took to the streets outside libraries to talk to the public about what’s at stake for their communities.
These events were an opportunity for library patrons and members of the public to learn more about the drastic cuts being proposed by the provincial government. Library workers handed out buttons and stickers during their lunchtime information pickets.
CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas and Newfoundland and Labrador NDP Leader Earl McCurdy joined the info picket outside the A.C. Hunter Public Library in St. John’s.
The cost of keeping the 54 libraries open is under $1 million – less than former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin’s severance package of $1.4 million from the province.
The successful info pickets generated great media coverage. Listen to CUPE National President Mark Hancock, who was interviewed on VOCM’s Backtalk (starting at the 48:25 minute mark).
“I really would love for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador to let the provincial government know they don’t agree with these cuts, they don’t want to see library workers out of jobs, they don’t want to see library branches closed,” says Crystal Rose, a librarian at Memorial University and past president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association, speaking to CBC News.
“Speak out. Contact Dale Kirby, contact your local representative, let them know you don’t agree with these cuts.”