People living on First Nations and Metis Settlements in Alberta will no longer have to pay non-resident fees in order to access public library services.
The Alberta government is providing more than $670,000 to six regional library systems, including Peace Library System, to cover non-resident fees for individuals living in Indigenous communities.
“It is essential that all Albertans have equitable access to the programs and services these community hubs can offer,” says Municipal Affairs Minister Danielle Larivee, MLA for Lesser Slave Lake.
“Our government is proud to provide this funding that eliminates a financial barrier and makes it easier for everyone to use and enjoy Alberta’s public libraries.”
Previously, people living on-reserve or on-settlement had to acquire a non-resident library membership in order to take advantage of the programs and services offered by libraries in neighbouring communities.
Following the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Alberta government has committed to working with Indigenous leaders and communities to implement the principles and objectives of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“All people in Alberta, no matter where they live, should have equitable access to public libraries,” Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan says.
“Removing non-resident library fees is a small but important step towards ensuring Indigenous communities have the same resources and opportunities as all Albertans.”
Library membership enables access to:
-Books, CDs, videos and other physical materials;
-Computers and high-speed internet;
-Regional programs such as early childhood literacy activities; and
-e-content, interlibrary loans and other initiatives provided via the government-funded Provincial Network of Public Library Service.