The anger felt by the cuts made in the provincial budget shows no sign of abating.
The six workers recently laid off from the Palliser Regional Library made their voices heard at the legislature as they described what the cuts mean to the communities impacted.
Melissa Silzer-Frank was the only IT tech for the public internet terminals within the Palliser system.
With her position gone, she’s left wondering how those services will be provided in the future.
“We have patrons who run their businesses off our public-access stations, so when they cease to exist, those businesses cease to exist,” Silzer-Frank argued.
“There are programs that we offer as well and those cannot be qualified by a dollar and cents. Parenting programs, how to use computers, we are letting people build resumes, there are all kinds of usage.”
As a way to reduce the deficit, funding to Regina and Saskatoon libraries was cut completely and money to regional libraries was reduced by half.
Saskatchewan libraries receive money through government grants and a portion of property taxes.
While defending the cuts, Education Minister Don Morgan wondered why layoffs were the only answer to management at Palliser.
“I was surprised that we were hearing from the regional libraries doing layoffs without them having looked at what options were available to them,” Morgan maintained.
“It may mean there’s fewer libraries, it may mean that they consolidate into some school co-locations, they could use their accumulated cash on hand and none of them appear to have gone back to the municipalities saying what can we do to work with this.”