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Thunder Bay Library Faces Deep Budget Cuts

By Katie Nicholls Dec 1, 2022 | 7:57 AM

Thunder Bay Public Libraries are facing steep budget cuts next year.

With a new city council ushered in, the city administration has recommended that the Library’s budget be cut by 15 per cent.

Acadia News spoke with Thunder Bay Public Library (TBPL) CEO, Dr. Richard Togman, about what this could mean for the publicly funded institution

Togman said that in the past 15 years, the library’s operating budget has only seen a 0.02 per cent increase. There was a promise of $2M back in 2007, but TBPL has only received $44,000.

“Body blow” is what could be felt if the budget is cut so drastically according to the CEO.

Togman also detailed that some buildings are in dire need of repair. He gave the example of the Waverly location. Its front entrance has a ramp that needs updating and improvements. Currently, it doesn’t meet Ontario’s accessibility standards.

He went on to detail that more has been spent on the James Whalen Tugboat in 2022 than the entire capital budget for the library.

City libraries are free for everyone to use, they allow access to computers, printers and the internet for those without, and can act as warming and cooling centres throughout the year.

The library also is an immense source of knowledge, worldly and local offering a variety of tools for people to use when seeking entertainment through reading, education and more.

A public survey has been offered by the library to suss out how the public feels about its funding and potential cuts.


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