“As a child, my number one best friend was the librarian in my grade school. I actually believed all those books belonged to her.” 
[Erma Bombeck]

Dear Mr. Bernier:
 
It is with a very deep sense of disappointment and dismay that I write to you today regarding the financial cuts you have made to the libraries and, by necessity, the librarians of our Peterborough, Victoria, Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board.  I readily admit that I am neither a teacher nor a librarian, I am neither a lobbyist nor a parent of a child currently enrolled in our school board.  I have studied and continue to study economics and as such am acutely aware of the need for balanced budgets and inherent cutbacks.  Nevertheless, I do not understand, nor can I support any scheme or budget that includes diminishing one of our board’s (and thus, our children’s) assets, their libraries and librarians.
 
“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.”
[Neil Gaiman]

Are you hoping technology will fill the gaps left by your plundering of the library funds?
 
Undeniably, an Internet connection can be a useful, convenient and bountiful research tool.  Yet, as we know, the information is not given in any particular context, key facts may be limited/edited/missing and the young minds of our children are unable to discern these peculiarities.  Fortunately, at least until now, our school libraries are staffed with people trained to interpret anomalies and fill gaps.
 
School libraries are not merely about research, rather about the joy of reading and spreading that joy.  Many of your students may own or have access to e-readers and tablets and the books downloaded onto them.  Others may have a large and growing library at home.  These circumstances both require a certain affluence.   Parents do not have to be wealthy to deliver to their children adventure, mystery, romance, humour, history and travel; our school librarians ably do that for them with a sparkle that captures young minds, with their love of books and with a strong sense of guardianship and responsibility for the future of their students.  
 
Not only our children benefit from the wisdom and collaboration of our librarians, so do our parents.  As curricula are revamped, renewed and improved, many parents find themselves out of their knowledge comfort zones, remedied, capably, by our school librarians.
 
If you, sir, have not been in one of your libraries very recently, I encourage you to do so post-haste; your librarians are engaged and have, in most cases more energy than the kids who fill their halls.  They are engaging our students and filling them with excitement.
 
“Most people don’t realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained.
Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn’t value its librarians doesn’t value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?”
[Neil Gaiman]

I am begging you, Mr. Bernier, to influence your Board to reconsider the funding cuts to our school libraries and librarians before the damage done is irreparable.  Many thanks, both for taking the time to read my note and for any consideration you may give to finding additional funding for our libraries and librarians.  
 
Kindest regards,
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