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'We deserve better': Demonstrators demand more funding, Sunday hours for Winnipeg libraries


Library lovers hoped to mark a new chapter this weekend, in what they called their final pitch to city council to adequately fund libraries across Winnipeg.

A group of demonstrators known as “Millennium for All,” gathered at the Millennium Library Sunday afternoon, painting a poster that read “Save our Sundays,” referring to library operating hours.

While the City of Winnipeg’s multi-year budget plans to expand operating hours by 12 per cent from September to May, libraries will remain closed on Sundays during the summer months. However, more funding is expected to be allocated towards security, programming and a new library in the northwestern area of the city.

“So far, city council has done a lot in this year’s budget to fund things like the Community Connection Space, community safety hosts and extended hours,” said Joe Curnow, a member of Millennium for All. “But what we’re asking them to do is go further and do more.”

Curnow said that means funding higher staffing ratios to keep the Millennium Library open on Sundays year-round.

“I think what we can see is that things like having Sunday hours is also a really important investment because it makes it possible for all kinds of programming to exist,” she said. “If we close Millennium on Sundays, we lose those amenities that are really important to a lot of families across the city.”

Other demands include more funding for technology as well as support for more resources and programming already in place at the Millennium Library and within branches across Winnipeg.

“There’s enough money to go around for all the branches,” she said. “Millennium should be open, as well as every branch in the city for weekends, year-round full-time hours.”

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