Free Internet Access At Libraries: Just Another Thing The Conservatives Don’t Think We Need

Wow. Score another one for the fabulous federal government we’ve been saddled with.

I don’t use the internet access at the library because I don’t need it, but I’ve always been glad to know I can if ever I do. But the Harper Government, in its whatever the opposite of infinite wisdom is, has decided that in an age where more and more things are moving online exclusively, it would be a glorious time to not renew the program that makes the free internet service possible.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Federal Cutbacks Jeopardize Free Internet Access at the Guelph Public Library

Guelph, ON – The Guelph Public Library has 34 public Internet computers available system wide for customers to use for up to an hour per day. This heavily used service generated over 100,000 sessions in 2011. Every day over 300 Guelph residents enter one of the 6 Guelph Public libraries and use one of these computers. The Government of Canada’s Community Access Program (CAP) has provided funding for this service since 1995. The non-renewal of the CAP program translates into $6,800 of extra funding the library will have to seek elsewhere to continue offering this service at every branch. 

Libraries promote the ease of and access to information for everyone. The digital information highway is another means by which the GPL assists its community. In a knowledge-based world and ever-changing economy, everyone can stay informed via social media, emails, online forums, government sites, and news outlets regardless of socio-economical status. Career and tax services are among the top Internet requests at the GPL. Library customers search for job postings, email resumes, and print online government forms – which are increasingly available only online.  

GPL CEO Kitty Pope shares her disappointment. “The Guelph Public Library is dismayed by the cancellation of this program and angered by Industry Canada’s assessment that the CAP program has “outlived its usefulness.”  People use them to apply for jobs, complete their tax forms and find information. The GPL does not have the $6,800 in its budget to support this program. If this program is essential to our customers, then it should continue to be supported by Industry Canada.”
 
For more information, contact:

Kitty Pope, Guelph Public Library CEO

kpope@library.guelph.on.ca

519.824.6220 x226

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