The Guelph Public Library’s Free Internet Access Is Safe…For Now

In April, I wrote about the trouble the Guelph Public Library was about to have thanks to the Harper government cutting the funding that makes free internet access there possible. Today, there’s an update on the fundraising effort that Cam Guthrie launched to help save it.

According to the story, funding for 2013 has been pretty much completely secured, but beyond that things are uncertain. At least there’s another year to figure out what to do longterm.

“By the end of the year we will be pretty close to raising the full amount,” he says. “It’s exciting; the people of Guelph need to be applauded for stepping up in such a gracious manner. In this economy, creative funding options must be explored.”

Chief executive officer of the Guelph Public Library Kitty Pope confirms that thanks to the Guthrie campaign’s efforts the library will have enough money to provide the service for all of 2013.

“The board will continue to support the project: there’s a huge interest,” she says, adding that the free internet is used by about 300 people a day adding up to about 100,000 sessions a year.

Pope says people use the free internet for job searches, sending out resumes and doing research. They also use it to access government websites. “That makes me laugh since they are the ones who cut it,” she says.

But the future of the service is unclear for 2014 and beyond. According to Pope, there are no future fundraising plans. “At this point the board hasn’t even gone there yet,” she says.

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