I’ve tried for most of this month to find a home for a pitch about the impact of the pending closure of more than half of the public libraries in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The library closures are just one of the province’s many austerity measures in the most recent provincial budget, which is the current government’s response to the loss of oil-related revenues amidst low global crude prices. But for some reason this one seems to hit the hardest. It might because the cuts are so deep; it would be awful to lose even one library, but nearly 60 per cent of the ones in the province will close. It’s also because this slashing doesn’t actually save much money, from the government’s perspective. The effect on morale for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, though, is hard to measure but definitely significant.
In the end this landed with Yahoo, one of my regular outlets. I’m happy it did because they were glad to let me go a bit long on it. I also covered the ways that austerity will hurt other parts of the province in an earlier article–one that is still relevant now, after the budget passed a vote in the House this week.