Toronto parent fears loss of library sanctuary for her children

Every other weekend, Crystal Smith helps her children get away to the library.

“My daughter, being a book lover, would not have access to books unless she purchases them from a store,” Smith said.

With the recent threat to cut Toronto Public Library branches or cutback hours to help balance the city’s budget, Smith, a mother of four, fears that the weekend time shared with her children will be lost.

Yesterday, a number of committee meetings were held at Toronto City Hall addressing various ways to reduce the city’s deficit. The mayor had originally proposed cuts of Toronto public library system.

“We’re going through everything thoroughly and at the end of the day I was elected to clean up the financial mess we inherited,” Ford said. “We’re not going to increase taxes 35 per cent like some people want to do.”

When Smith heard that public library service could be cut, she grew angry.

“Mayor Ford, who is supposed to be a role model, turns around and considers closing a library; which is a stepping stone to our children’s future and a sanctuary to book lovers,” Smith said. “We put so much emphasis on literacy in Ontario it’s amazing that this would be on his list.”

She said her eldest daughter uses the public library to do extensive research for her schoolwork.

“My other children have been taught responsibility of having a card of their own, understanding due dates and learning how to borrow material from libraries,” she said.