What follows is a letter I emailed to city councillors Albert Aiello, Mark Bentz, and Brian Hamilton.
I'm writing to convey my dismay and disappointment regarding your stances on the operation of the Thunder Bay Public Library, as reported in the TBNewsWatch article of Jan 26, "City council eyes cuts to public library."
Closing a branch merely to save money might seem like no big deal for those of us privileged enough to drive in this city. For many, including those who rely on TBPL for essential services like Internet access, this creates new hurdles. What may be a 10- or 15-minute walk for some neighbourhood kids or someone who needs to check their email suddenly becomes a bus ride of half an hour or more. While it may be true, as Coun. Bentz's research suggests, that Thunder Bay has more branches than comparable cities, I'd suggest that's not germane: just as TBPL is itself a leader, rather than a follower, when it comes to library innovation and community outreach, so too should Thunder Bay lead rather than follow what other cities do.
Coun. Aiello's suggestion that the library reduce its collection development budget comes from a…