‘Shame:’ Libraries’ fates sealed
Dalkeith has lost its final bid to retain its library.
About 40 people attended a Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry Library Board meeting Tuesday morning in Cornwall, where the sixmember board listened to four passionate pleas to save the Dalkeith, St. Andrews and Morewood branches. Although each of the delegations received loud support and standing ovations from the audience, not one board member asked any questions or asked for clarification from the speakers.
Only North Glengarry Deputy Mayor Jamie MacDonald and South Glengary deputy-mayor Frank Prevost voted for a motion which would have rescinded the July 29 decision to shut the outlets. The new motion also demanded that public consultation be held place before any future closures take place.
The crowd gasped in disbelief and yelled out "Shame" after the board defeated the resolution by a vote of 4-2.
Former board member Barbara Lehtiniemi, a Dalkeith area resident whose husband, Leo, made one of the presentations, resigned from the board after the July 29 decision. She says she doesn't regret stepping down. “While it would have been good to be at the board table for the decision, I felt like resigning called a lot of attention to the injustice of the original decision,” she said.
Brenda Noble, who spoke on behalf of the Friends of the Dalkeith Library, says she wasn't surprised and knew the odds were against her. She asked board members if they had open minds. “I don't think they did,” she said.
Mr. MacDonald again expressed his displeasure over the board's calling the July 29 meeting on such short notice. He said it's the library board's responsibility to bring in new members. “We're a rural library system,” he said. “We must build up libraries, not destroy them.”
Board chairman Bill McGimpsey said his heart goes out to branch supporters but believes the move will benefit the library system as a whole.
The Dalkeith branch will still have a dropoff spot, residents can order materials online, computers and WiFi will be available.
“The Dalkeith Historical Society has offered to look after it,” he said.
STRAIGHT AND NARROW: Nicole Calande, of Alfred, was among the 25 competitors turning sod at the 2016 edition of the Glengarry Plowing Match Saturday. The turn-out was a pleasant surprise for the organizers. More inside.