Library accessibility

Winnipeg’s libraries are becoming harder to access – and it’s causing a wave of public outcry.

A group of teachers, politicians and students gathered for a rally on March 28 to protest the shuttering of the Manitoba Curriculum Support Centre, which will officially close its doors on April 1, 2019.

“It’s the only curricular library for the province and it’s a crown jewel – something as Manitobans we value,” said resource teacher Ruth Jones.

The Manitoba Curriculum Support Centre is a library that supplies teachers with resources that they can use in their classrooms. This includes books, videos, fine art prints and educational boards games.

After April 1, the services offered by the Manitoba Curriculum Support Centre will be transferred and will only be available online.

Patrick McGuire, a teacher at Sturgeon Heights Collegiate, believes it’s reducing the availability of the resources.
Hundreds of people gathered at the Millennium Library on April 2 to protest how new security measures are affecting people in the community.
Only five days after the Curriculum Support Centre rally, hundreds filled the Millennium Library lobby for a silent read-in protest of the library’s new security measures.

“It’s almost like a creeping militarization – rather than saying, ‘okay we’ve got a problem, let’s look at ways that we can find different solutions to it,’” says Elaine Bishop, a long-time user of the library.

Along with the other protestors, and a grassroots group called Millenium4All, Elaine says she’d like to see a more empathy-based approach to security.

It’s a method used at the West Broadway Community Ministry, a community space that provides books, food and shelter to those who need it – no security check necessary.

“You talk to them, they get to know you,” said Angela Strong, who’s been coming to the ministry for close to 20 years. “If it wasn’t for this place, where would they be?”

On April 4, Millennium4All said the city agreed to re-evaluate its security policies at the library and consult marginalized groups.

RRCTV went to the Millennium Library to cover the protest of the new security measures - is there a better way?
Protesting library cuts
Teachers protest how the closure of the Manitoba Curriculum Support Centre will affect their classrooms.