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A proposal for huge cutbacks to the Calgary Public Library system has been largely scrapped after library workers fought back to protect their services.

Last September, the Calgary Public Library system was given orders to trim $2.8 million from its annual budget. The cuts would have resulted a dramatic reduction of service hours and the inability to open a new multimillion-dollar branch planned for 2011.

This would have had an immediate and negative impact on the jobs of library workers,” said CUPE 1169 president Rh’ena Oake. “The impact on our customers would have been dramatic and severe.”

Oake said that Calgary Public Library is the second busiest public library in Canada after Toronto, yet ranks 21st in funding.

CUPE 1169 launched an aggressive campaign, including radio, letter writing and social media tools to raise public awareness of the reduction of library services.

The result – Oake said she has received confirmation that in view of the outpouring of support the cutbacks have been reduced to minor levels with little impact on service or staff.

This is a victory for library workers, and our communities, said Oake. “The support our Local received has been encouraging, and exemplifies the power of collective work within the labour movement.”