City Proposes Funding Cuts


Letters of Support

Here are letters of support from our coummunity in response to the proposed and actual cuts to the library's funding. We thank everyone for their support.

Our business may be a pizza shop, but we built this pizza shop specifically to give us the ability to look out for each other and the community we build our families in, especially when someone needs a hand.

Last night city council voted to remove $50000 from the budget for Libraries in our city. We are not going to debate the reasons behind the vote, instead we are going to offer this:

If you work at any Library in the city and you have a meeting or event to plan for, we will provide all catering at-cost for all of 2020 to help recoup costs. If you are independently planning an event at a city Library we offer the same. Message our page for details.

We really believe in the value Libraries represent to the families in our community. They serve as a hub for families to access email, research homework, write resumes and more. With the support staff to answer questions and provide technical support, many families that don't have the proviledge of a tech background can still engage and find success.

They serve as a community hub for work shops, for outreach, medical check-ins, even for meals and workshops on how to cook for families. I have seen first hand the length that local Library staff go to over and over to be a resource for families in our city.

Tbay families you are worth it.

-- Eat Local Pizza


Thunder Bay City Council is presently trying to trim/cut the library budget which should under no circumstances be cut! It was stated on the local news last night by Council that the County Fair's branch lease was due soon and one councillor specifically stated that the branch could be closed. That would be a huge mistake! The branch serves a community that would not have access otherwise to a variety of programs and resources that they could not use at other libraries due to lack of transportation or transiency. The community NEEDS this branch.Personally, I need this branch for health restrictions. If there is anything I can do to keep this branch open, let me know.

-- PH

An open letter to Thunder Bay councillors re: library cuts

-- BB

Tonight I had planned to write about self care, but have decided to save that blog for another day as there is a city issue that I feel needs immediate attention and advocacy.

Our city council is proposing to shut down the Conservatory and make cuts to our library because we need to "save money".

I don't doubt that we do need to save some money but after closing Dease Pool and now making this announcement....why is the Soccerplex still on the table? Suspicious much?

For this particular post, I am going to focus on the Thunder Bay Public Library. Council is scrutinizing it because it's doing more than be just a library. But what it's doing is something incredibly innovative, modern and forward thinking. It's turning into a community hub. It's also working hard towards reconciliation (something our city council, sadly hasn't shown me they understand yet)

The Library has an Indigenous Advisory Council that has created an Indigenous Knowledge Centre at each library filled with Indigenous books, videos and music. It has started the NDN book club which has become quite popular. It hosts speakings on Indigenous Journalism, offers language classes and more.

Outside of this there are many educational programs for children, youth, adults and seniors - fron poetry, ancestry learning and more.

Everything I've listed would be all library appropriate.

Let's also focus on our city's social issues. The library has become a safe place for many people in vulnerable situations...low income families and our homeless populations for example. The Library has a lot of computer stations. This is what people want. This allows people connection to social media, check their banking, print off documents, connect with their workers for appointments and such. These are the people who don't have phones and having this service is invaluable. Let's just add in the value of getting to be warm in the winter.

Are some services being duplicated - sure. But mostly I really like what the library is doing. They are heading in the right direction and our council would be foolish to make severe cuts to their work. (All in name of the Soccerplex?)

Please email the mayor and councillors. All emails can be found at this link.…/city-hall/Mayor-and-Council-Pro…

-- SWH

I am a firm believer in public libraries as they make reading accessible to everyone.    Having 4 branches ensures that books are fairly accessible to most people as they can get there by foot or bus as well as car.    Not everything is available through the internet and often I am left without any trustworthy sources of information when I search for information. ...I would rather have libraries than a $30,000 soccer plex.

-- MC

Love the Thunder Bay library - offers a wonderful service to the community - very socially progressive in a City which lacks that in a number of areas.
Leave the funding alone - look for cuts elsewhere.

-- RH

I disagree with the premise that the  library budget should be subject to any reduction in the financial budget. The locations serve areas where families and individuals on reduced incomes are able to access services that only the library is able to provide.
Commercial bookstores are not within the budgets of many Thunder Bay households. Children and students are able to loan books, magazines, DVD’s and many other materials free of charge.
I completely support the Thunder Bay library services and do not support any reductions in locations or services.

-- MF

The library is one of the most important facilities available to every citizen of Thunder Bay, it is  Free!
It has computers Wi-Fi so the very poorest of our community have access.
The area around County Fair has a great number of  people it serves.
I don't think 4 libraries for a city our size is unrealistic, 2 in city centers and 2 in subdivisions, where taking a bus is unnecessary.
We have one of the most diverse libraries I've experienced and am proud to have such a wonderful facility in our community.
Please rethink cutbacks for the library.

-- IC

I am enraged at the proposed cuts.

-- CG

Unfortunately I will be out of town at the meeting, but I fully support the services at the Brodie library for my research on the early history of northern Ontario.

You have  valuable historical references found nowhere else, and you staff are extremely helpful in finding them for me, and for finding other references in other libraries.

-- NGE

Yes it is asinine of council to be proposing this at the eleventh hour!

-- HW

Please add my name as a very strong supporter of the TB Public Libraries.
I have regularly used our libraries as a child, student, parent and now grandparent as do all of my extended family. An extension is with two book clubs that regularly enjoy use of the library's book bags. 
Library support should be the last thing on the cutting block in our increasingly disjointed, poorly informed, disparate society. I am always pleased to see many citizens ensconced in the library reading newspapers, magazines, scouting out books and sometimes CD's. and DVD's or perhaps using computers and other resources at our libraries. It would seem to me that cutting library support would be a direct cut not only on all citizens but particularly on our young people, on students, teachers and the less affluent.
Keep our libraries open, and wisely funded!
-- MRJ

To the Thunder Bay Mayor and City Councillors
I'm writing in regards to the proposed budget cuts to the Thunder Bay library.
As a cultural worker and community programmer who lives close to the Waverly library, I use it a lot.  It's a safe and inspiring space to work.  It's a hub.  It is the only place in Thunder Bay where I witness a diverse public, including the most vulnerable, sharing services for our own self-determining activities. 
As a low-middle income earner, it's a social destination for my family in the evenings and weekends.  Its a meeting place where we learn and attend events.  As an organizer, it's one of the only accessible places to host programming.  This is so important for grassroots, emerging or not-for-profit groups who want to welcome diverse audiences.  It's on bus routes.  It's accessible for those in wheelchairs.  It has staff who welcomes diversity.  It has a place to check for events.
It's free.
In the past 5 years, I've seen many changes at the TBPL to meet the recommendations of the TRC, to adapt to budget cuts and tech innovations, to welcome youth, to address racism, gender discrimination, poverty.  Further cuts would be punishing. 
It is one of the only truly community oriented public spaces in our city.  The TBPL is leading the way to show what it means to respond to the needs of the community and reflect the benefits and meaning of public institutions.
Thank you for considering the importance of spending public dollars on the library!
-- ZG

I have emailed my Neebing councillor Cody Fraser advising him that I am opposed to any cuts to our important libraries.
-- CD

TBPL has been an inspiration to everyone in the library field. I am so sorry to hear that this battle is raging. Extremely short-sighted and the impacts will reverberate in the community for years. Do keep us posted.
-- RJ, Whitby ON

My name is [MA] and I was just in Thunder Bay for 10 days, just getting back to Guelph yesterday. Our daughter was quite concerned about the threat of cuts to the Library and has written to council and her friends. We have experienced similar threats here and the Mayor at first expressed his opinion that we no longer needed libraries. He has since changed his mind. I have written about your situation to our CEO Steve Kraft . You may know him . He has been able
to develop a great support system but it is an ongoing challenge as there is still a constant  inclination for some people (politicians) to undervalue libraries. I did go to the Waverley library with my 3 grandchildren last week and it is a wonderful place. I also noted the Indigenous department and the rooms for activities and programs. I wish you all the best in your work. It is an essential service.
-- MA, Guelph ON

Dear Mayor and Councillors:
I know that you are facing many difficult decisions as you approach this year's budget and you need to make the best decisions for the entire community of Thunder Bay. I am writing to encourage you to maintain the requested funding level for TBPL.
Having served on the TBPL Board as both a member and chairman, and having chaired the funding campaign for the new and very popular Mary JL Black Branch, I am fully aware of the immense value to the community of the library. As you know, a library is more than a collection of sometimes dusty books. It is a place of community - a leveling entity, providing open access to knowledge, employment opportunities, recreation, and yes, in some cases, just a warm and friendly place to sit and contemplate. The library connects our community like no other service and it provides all of this at a very reasonable cost.
Please do not cut municipal funding to this vital community service.
Thank you.

-- PM

Your possible decision to cut libraries and possibly close county fair branch is just bad judgement on city staff and or councillors.  I personally go to the county fair branch at least 3 time a week to use the computer to search for jobs via kijiji, job bank etc...  I have a cell ph but don't have the capability to access free wifi at various stations in the city.  I get the need to cut monies for the budget; but, this is probably the most important public venue for the city...  I hope the city will deliver the right message to all the tax payers and users of the city of Thunder Bay.  Thank You for taking my response to this matter.
-- MH

Dear Mayor Mauro and Thunder Bay City Councilors,

 It has come to the attention of the Coalition For Waverley Park, that there is the potential our City Council may attempt to reduce the funding of the Thunder Bay Public Library through the City budget process.

 To be clear, we oppose any reduction in funding to the TBPL and support the one per cent increase they have requested through this process.  We strongly believe in “community”, and libraries are doing a wonderful job of creating and building the type of community we feel is important to Thunder Bay. It is essential to have mainstream community services such as the public libraries that welcome all citizens regardless of age, income or social status.

 We also believe it is misleading to say that people aren’t borrowing books the way they were. Some people are moving to digital books but many of us still like the feel of a solid book in our hands as we read and the fact that we don’t have to buy the books is a bonus. Citizens from very young children to older adults appreciate the value of our public library system and would suffer from a reduction in services. 

 At present our libraries are strategically located around the City and to shut down a location would do a disservice to entire neighbourhoods.  Reducing services will do a disservice to the most vulnerable segment of our population and our city will suffer for it.

 It is very important to the Coalition for Waverley Park and its members that the City of Thunder Bay continue to fund the TBPLat the very least at its current level and we feel the library deserves the one percent increase for the stellar job it has been doing.

 We look forward to your response.

 --Keith Nymark, President of The Coalition For Waverley Park, For The Coalition for Waverley Park Board


I wish to express my strong opposition to any cuts to funding for the Thunder Bay Public Library (TBPL) operations. Our four library branches offer access to literary resources, age appropriate programming, and a safe haven for all people in the community.
The TBPL is a perfect example of our taxes at work. I for one do not consider taxes to be a burden but instead are an avenue to spread out the cost of services so that each of us pays a fair share so that everyone can benefit. Whether or not you personally avail yourself of the collections or programs is irrelevant, libraries are public institutions that continue to evolve and respond to the needs of the community as we seek to understand the world we live in.
The branches are one of the few public spaces where everyone is welcome during operating hours, at no cost. This fact is becoming increasingly important as the fissures in our society between the “haves” and the “have nots” become more pronounced.
Full disclosure...
I am an active member of the Friends of the TBPL and have been so for over 15 years. I am also a parent of now adult children who spent many hours at the Brodie branch, participating in programs as youngsters and always checking out books and other materials in pursuit of their interests and greater knowledge. They continue to utilize the resources available through TBPL.
Kindly look to other departments for savings.
Thank you for listening to my commentary.

-- Kathie Johnson, Resident of Westfort Ward

Good luck with your fight for resources! I’ve had such a great time in your premises both with our kids and alone that I’ll always remember your service with warm thoughts.

All the best

-- TM, Klaukkala, Finland