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Library feels federal budget cuts

News Release
RR Public Library

The Rainy River Public Library stands to lose about $3,700 a year to federal government cutbacks.
The $3,700 came from the Community Access Program (CAP). Built in two parts – an equipment fund and a youth employment fund – CAP has been helping libraries offer public internet access since 1995.
The equipment fund ended on March 31.
“We’re very disappointed,” says Library CEO Michael Dawber.
“We’ve been contacting decision-makers for the last year, encouraging them to keep CAP going.”
“We have no extra money in our budget to make up the loss,” he says.
“I’ve been involved with CAP since 1997,” he adds. “My first library job was as a CAP student internet trainer.”
“I know first-hand how many people have benefited from CAP,” he says. “Seniors, students, summer residents, job hunters…practically all our customers have been helped in some way by the program.”
Without the funding, Dawber says the library will not be able to update or repair any of its five public internet stations. “The equipment we have today is all we will be able to have for the foreseeable future. When it’s done, there’s no means of replacing it without CAP. We hope to continue offering the same level of service and access, but we will probably have to look at the fees we charge for that service. For example, the operating costs of the printer were supported by CAP - that funding is now gone.”
“We will probably have to look at our service fees, too,” Dawber says.
The library board understands the youth employment part of CAP may continue.
The library’s internet access itself is not affected by the cutbacks.