The Saskatchewan Spring of 2017: 34 Days that Shook the Province and Led to the Provincial Government Reinstating Funding to Public Libraries

Michael Shires


On March 22, 2017, the Government of Saskatchewan tabled its budget for fiscal year 2017-2018. There were deep cuts in many sectors. One of the biggest budget cuts percentage-wise was to public libraries. The Ministry of Education announced that 100% of operating grant funding ($1.3 million) to the province’s two largest municipal library systems (Regina and Saskatoon) would be eliminated. Additionally, seven of eight regional library systems would have a 58% reduction of $3.5 million in operating funding from the government (Ministry of Education, 2017). Reaction to the news was immediate and support within and outside Saskatchewan grew quickly to have the decision reversed. This article describes the incredible series of events made by the general public and key stakeholders in the library community that led to the Government of Saskatchewan reinstating all funding for 2017-2018 to public libraries 34 days after the budget was tabled.


Saskatchewan public libraries, public library funding, Government of Saskatchewan, public library advocacy

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Copyright (c) 2018 Michael Shires

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Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research (ISSN: 1911-9593)