Promised Literacy, Closing Libraries |

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(709) 753-6043


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Thursday, April 28, 2016

April 28, 2016


For Immediate Release




Liberals Who Promised Literacy, Reading and Rural Strategies


Are Instead Cutting 54 Rural Libraries and 60 Library Professionals




David Brazil, Education Critic for the Official Opposition, said, “The Ball Liberals—who came to office promising a literacy strategy, improved reading achievement and sustainable rural communities—have instead brought the blade down on rural libraries, closing 54, firing 60 library professionals and placing reading and online resources even further out of reach of people in rural communities.”




“This is not the policy the Liberals were elected to deliver,” said Brazil. “Instead of growing rural communities and improving literacy as they promised, the Ball Liberals are taking a hatchet to rural services while closing their ears to the feedback of rural residents who do not agree with what they are doing. The Liberals do not want to hear it.”




The Liberal policy red book had an entire section on the need to improve achievement in reading (s.5.3.1), another section promising a comprehensive education action plan in areas including literacy (s.5.1.2), another section promising an adult literacy strategy (s.5.4.4), and another section on the importance of making communities sustainable (s.5).




“How do you improve literacy, reading achievement and rural sustainability by putting books and online resources further out of reach of rural youth and seniors?” Brazil asked. “Rural libraries are not just places to access reading materials but centres for accessing computers, where skilled librarians can guide people to find what they are seeking and to use online resources, such as government e-services. This giant leap backwards for library access is an attack on rural Newfoundland and Labrador. Is this what rural residents told the Ball Liberals and their government caucus members they wanted?”




Brazil said, “The gutting of library services coupled with the tax on books is an attack on literacy by a government that promised to make improving literacy and reading achievement among its top priorities. This whittling away of rural services is a direct attack on community sustainability by a government that said it had a plan to make our communities more sustainable, but clearly doesn’t.”








Media Contact:


Heather MacLean,


Director of Communications,


Office of the Official Opposition,


(709) 729 6105,


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