Province looking for public feedback on libraries

By Charlene Tebbutt
January 10, 2019 - 6:15pm

The province is asking for public feedback as part of a project looking at how libraries are managed in Saskatchewan and what can be done to improve operations.  

In a new online survey, the province is asking the public what they want from their local libraries. The survey looks at operations at libraries across the province, including municipal and regional libraries.

Clint Repski, assistant deputy minister of education said it’s important to hear from the public on the issue. The online survey will be open until Jan. 25 and can be found on the Government of Saskatchewan website.

“It was meant to hear what are the issues to the library systems that are out there, what’s working, what’s not,” Repski said. “What are those common themes? That, combined with the public response that we hope to get on the survey is going to inform what those next steps are.”

The survey is the next step in the engagement process following province-wide panel discussions on the topic involving Saskatchewan’s 11 public library systems, which operate more than 300 branches. The engagement sessions also included talks with other stakeholders, including the Saskatchewan Library Association, Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association, and the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities.

A report on the engagement sessions lists eight areas of focus for libraries, including funding structures, strategic planning, communications, board governance training, updates in legislation and Indigenization. Repski said Indigenization is one of the areas that was continually brought up during the panel discussions.

“It’s an area that stakeholder groups felt deserves some additional attention,” he added. “They want to make sure that area is well-served through resources and services.”

The John M. Cuelenaere Public Library also conducted a survey on the issue last month as part of their work in the engagement process.

On Twitter: @CharleneTebbutt

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