Help Us Support Our Communities, No Strings Attached!
At Cumberland Public Libraries, we are extremely proud to offer our community free services and programs to enrich the lives of all Cumberland County residents. However, due to rising inflation, we have made the difficult decision to reduce hours at five of our seven locations as of April 1st, 2024.
We want to continue to support you and your family as best as we can. Learn about service impacts below.
Why are you cutting hours?
The library does not receive enough funding to continue offering the current amount of hours and services.
What locations will have a reduction in hours as of April 1, 2024?
Five (5) of our seven (7) locations will have a reduction in hours if funding is not secured. Those five (5) locations are: Amherst, Oxford, Parrsboro, Pugwash, and Springhill.
Our River Hebert and Advocate locations are currently open only twenty (20) hours a week. Decreasing their hours would mean a significant loss of resources to those communities, and would have a drastic impact on the livelihoods of our part-time staff.
What are the consequences of cutting hours?
The costs of reducing library hours are far-reaching, and the impact on each person depends on their situation. For most, this means decreasing the number of hours to access the internet, attend programs, research resources, and have a clean and welcoming place to escape the weather.
Reducing library hours negatively impacts the most vulnerable people within our community.
Why can’t you find something else to cut?
We have already made cuts to programming, book purchasing, staffing, and more to balance our budget. At this point our only options (without receiving more funding) are to cut hours, cut more services, or close a library.
Why not charge for a library card or services?
We could charge for services, however, the Cumberland Public Libraries, and all public libraries throughout the province, have worked very hard to ensure that library services are free and accessible to all.
We previously charged patrons late fees, but have removed this barrier as of August 2020. Late fines amounted to approximately 1% of our yearly revenue. Because of this, it is our view that charging for our services would not be a helpful solution.
A fee to use library services or programs would greatly limit library access for many people in our community.
"What is your fundraising goal?"
Donations are always welcome! We’re also working hard to create engaging new fundraisers. However, our current deficit is $179k, and asking our patrons and communities to take on that burden each year is not our goal. The only way to have reliable funding of that size is to work in partnership with our government.
What can I do?
Continue to use your public library! Talk to people about the other services we offer, including internet access, faxing, work spaces, and shelter on rainy days. Follow our social media pages and share our posts with friends and family.
If you are able to make a donation, we greatly appreciate it! You can also email your MLA to tell them libraries are important to you, and thank them for their efforts. We need long-term sustainable funding for all public libraries in Nova Scotia.
Contact Your MLA
Our provincial representatives are working hard to advocate for us! We greatly appreciate the support we’ve received from them as they champion our push for additional funding.
If you want to email your MLA to show your support of the library, and their efforts, we can help. Here’s an email template to get you started.
All public libraries in Nova Scotia are overseen by the Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage. The current Minister of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage is Allan MacMaster. You can contact the Minister at:
1741 Brunswick St., 3rd Floor
P.O. Box 456, STN Central
Do you live in Pugwash or Amherst? Your MLA is Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin. Contact Elizabeth at:
5 Ratchford St., 2nd Floor
Do you live in River Hebert, Advocate Harbour, Parrsboro, Springhill, or Oxford? Your MLA is Tory Rushton. Contact Tory at:
6 McFarlane St (PO Box 250)
Quick Facts About Your Local Library
Here are some quick facts about the Cumberland Public Libraries to use when talking to your representatives:
- During the 2022-2023 year, CPL patrons borrowed 173,889 items from the library; a 59% increase over 2021-2022! That averages out to be 6 free items borrowed by each Cumberland County resident.
- Over the past year, our libraries have been visited 58,197 times.
- The Cumberland Public Libraries provided 59,521 hours of wireless internet (WiFi) to Cumberland County residents during the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
- Library staff answered a total of 10,239 information questions last year.
- Throughout the year, the library has hosted a total of 384 FREE programs that were enjoyed by 8,362 people.
Learn more about what we’ve done this past year by reading our 2022-23 Annual Report.
Interested in donating to your library? Fill out the form below!