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LETTER: Council should 'open purse' for library workers

'You know what type of government you have by the way they treat their employees,' says letter writer
A crowd shows support for Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library workers in this file photo.

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There is some labour unrest in Bradford. A group of librarians and staff are asking for a not significant increase in their pay and negotiations continue each day. The workers are getting a great deal of support from the community, with support signs appearing everywhere.

These workers don’t want much. Indeed, a fair wage is all ... which seems very little compared to the mayor’s and council members’ salaries. It is not about fairness, is it? Council knows other labour unions and workers will be demanding more pay soon enough. Using these library employees as a model for their interaction with the other unions seems unfair but common.

You know what type of government you have by the way they treat their employees. Librarians are the stock takers of knowledge, helping to form the minds and aspirations of our community. I don’t remember any of my teachers in primary school, but I do remember my helpful, caring librarian.

Thoughout Canada municipalities are studying how to digitize their inventory book collections, and with the assistance of artificial intelligence, they will, in time, be able to replace library buildings, human librarians and the costs these place upon the government.

Imagine your children and seniors online instead of going to a library. A virtual reality librarian programmed to interact with seniors, children and maintaining control of the books these people wish to use. Using AI online, school boards and municipal governments can profile their users, censor materials and what the age-appropriate user can view. Costs of a building or space in schools, with maintenance, repairs and development, would be gone. The move towards less school buildings, and more internet interaction, has come.

Until that happens, mayors and council members, open your purse and give these essential workers a living wage.

Steven Kaszab