Chesterville Ontario – About 80 Williamsburg citizens concerned about the planned closure of their library attended the SD&G County Library Board meeting held at the Chesterville branch last Thursday.
Lisa Vreman, one of the organizers rallying to stop the Williamsburg library closure, was granted permission to speak to the board.
She said in her speech, “I’ve lived in Williamsburg for over 13 years and have been a patron of that library branch for the same. Our family has spent enough time in that library that it was even rumoured that Emily was born there! My first reaction to the Press release, announcing this smaller but fancy library in Morrisburg, was anger. This isn’t right. Why should they close our library? This isn’t consolidation; it is closure.”
Vreman who was pleased with the turnout in Chesterville, explains that the next step for the group is to speak to the South Dundas Council.
“We had a wonderful turnout at the meeting in Chesterville. Our next step is to talk to the Township Council of South Dundas. We have applied to do so at their April 2nd meeting, but I will not be the speaker this time”, says Vreman.
The library brings communities together, and it is important for families and promoting literacy too.
“The Williamsburg library is important to us as it is a vibrant hub in our community. It is more than a place to pick up books…we see neighbours there, use the internet, download books, browse the shelves. I believe our library is a big part of our three children’s love of reading”, says Vreman.
Mary Strader is also concerned about the Williamsburg Library closure. She was in attendance for the meeting last week. She explains why she is so passionate about this cause.
“This cause is important to me for various reasons. The main reason being that I have been a patron of the Williamsburg library for the past 34 years and have come to rely heavily on this important community service. The library is also a venue for meeting with neighbours and fellow readers to discuss books, new authors, local initiatives and just life in general.”
Strader makes it clear she will not make the trek to Morrisburg for library services. She is more likely to go to Ottawa for library services if the Williamsburg Library closes.
“Having to drive to Morrisburg to use the library is more than just an inconvenience, it is yet another sign that our small town is losing another asset. Personally, I work in Ottawa and will pay to join the Ottawa library rather than make a special trip to Morrisburg.”
Strader like many of the others protesting the Library closure is displeased with the lack of public consultation about this decision.
“It saddens me to see the way this entire issue has been handled, the lack of communication and interaction from the Library Board with the residents of my town along with the surprising and determined lack of support from our own South Dundas Council. The process has left me with the impression that no one cares about the longevity of our home and community. Our taxes are increasing but our services in Williamsburg are decreasing.”
Visit the Save the Williamsburg Library Branch Facebook page for more information: