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Regina: Supporters of the Regina Public Library are holding a vigil outside the central library today from 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. to encourage the library board to request a modest increase in its 2004-2005 budget so it can maintain all existing branches and library services.

The Regina Public Library board meets today at 4:30 p.m. to set its budget request for the coming year.

The board announced last November that it plans to close three branch libraries, the Prairie History Room and the Dunlop Art Gallery on May 1 to save money. Nearly 30 library workers, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, will be out of work.

The proposed cuts have generated a storm of protest. Earlier this month, more than 26,000 residents petitioned city council to hold a binding vote to maintain library services.

For only $5 more per household, the library could easily sustain current services and spend the year consulting the public about ways to improve the library system, says CUPE staff representative Aina Kagis. Its hard to believe that weve had to campaign so hard and so long over the cost of an egg salad sandwich.

Library supporters plan to circle the central library tonight to show their support for the public library system.

City Council is expected to debate the library boards budget submission at its meeting on April 13.

For more information:
Aina Kagis at 536-8226