‘Shame:’ Li­braries’ fates sealed

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON News Staff

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.

SCOTT CARMICHAEL PHOTO

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.

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