August 27, 2016 —Today is a sad day in Dalkeith as a farewell party is scheduled for the library, which the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Library Board has decided to close. In fact, three rural libraries in the United Counties are slated for closure: Dalkeith, Morewood, and St. Andrews West.
This excerpt is from a report prepared by writer Tom van Dusen for the current edition of Ontario Farmer.
Hope is waning for three Eastern Ontario communities hoping to preserve their libraries as key centres for educational, social and children’s activities.
The libraries are at Dalkeith, Morewood and St Andrews West. All are small rural hamlets with little left at their cores but the libraries….Closure dates for the three branches has been given as September 3.
Dalkeith library: usage was up, and there is no “bailiff at the door,” say residents
The Board has blamed its decision on costs, insurance considerations and safety standards. It previously closed two other branches, at North Lancaster and Moose Creek. Once threatened, branches at Williamsburg and South Mountain remain open after residents manned the barricades.
Branch defenders caim book borrowers are increasing and operating costs are minimal. For example, a part-time librarian in Dalkeith costs $17,000 a year.
Supporters such as Leo Lehtiniemi feel the rug has been pulled out from under them, A member of Friends of the Dalkeith Library, Lehtiniemi said that, over the past year, borrowers have increased by 36 percent and visitors by 11 percent.
“That’s what we were asked to do,” he says of the spike in library use. “There are no safety issues and there is no bailiff at the door. Closing the library is like ripping the heart out of Dalkeith.”
St Andrews West branch: also on the chopping block