Don’t rush sale, Fraserfriends say
As the Rudolf Steiner School prepares to move into the building that has housed the Fraser-Hickson Library since 1959, the C ôte-des-Neiges/Notre Dame-de-Grâce borough has proposed a partnership between the library, borough and Montreal English Schoolboard in order to keep the library open.
But moving into smaller premises is not an acceptable long-term solution, says Raj Ramtuhol, of Fraser Friends, a group of citizens working toward keeping the library open in its present location.
“There is no school in the area that has the space to accommodate the library needs of the NDG community as a whole, ” Ramtuhol says. “A scaled down version of the library will not answer the library services needs. Even with both the Fraser-Hickson and the new CDN Intercultural library open, our borough had the worst library services per capita in Montreal. ”
The Fraser Friends are urging the borough to hold off on their intention to relocate the library in the hope of an upcoming provincial program that “even private libraries would be eligible to benefit from.”
Ramtuhol says it’s imperative to keep the library where it’s easily accessible. “[Studies show] proximity to a library is what will improve literacy rates.”
According to the 2003 International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS) Quebec literacy scores are lower than the national average. The Survey shows that “12 million Canadians score below the desirable threshold of prose literary performance. ”