Saskatoon Public Library laying off 20 workers

Library says province restoring grants doesn’t make up for City of Saskatoon restraints.


Layoff notices have gone out to workers at the Saskatoon Public Library and more cuts are expected to come soon.

On Tuesday, 14 workers received layoff notices, with another six to come in the near future.

“It was a very difficult day for us at the library yesterday,” said library director Carol Cooley. “And it will be for the coming months as we work through our bumping process.”

In this year’s provincial budget. the entire $1.3 million provincial grant to libraries in Regina and Saskatoon was cut, along with $3.5 million in cuts to other library systems.

After widespread protests, the province reversed its decision. However, a $9 million shortfall from the city of Saskatoon, created after cuts to grants-in-lieu from the province means the library’s budget is still being impacted.

“Really we’re just looking to cover as much of our own increased costs in 2018 as possible without going to the municipal taxpayer,” said Cooley.

Saskatoon’s library system receives more than 90 per cent of its money from city taxes.

The majority of the cuts will happen at the Frances Morrison main branch.