Having moved back to Cape Breton 25 years ago; I’ve often reminisced about how poor we were growing up and what little hope we had as young people; growing up in society that the best thing for a young lad to do was leave home to make room in the home for one of the siblings. How many young men and perhaps ladies as well, were told they would “never amount to anything” on their exit interview from school.

Thankfully, much has changed in the last 50 years in Cape Breton; although we still suffer lingering hopes for that big company to come and create wealth for us all. Well me son, as they say in Newfi…that ain’t gonna happen!! A far better solution is to focus on the essentials and fundamentals; good schools, colleges, universities and libraries to help create a learning culture that will stand the test of time. Good digital skills along with finely honed communication tools will lead to exceptional growth opportunities.

I also remember in my early days with Pat Bates at ECBC where $500K was invested in the McConnell Library to install CBNET or CB Freenet as it would later be called. This offered our community, digital access to the Internet at a time when it simply was not affordable, nor available to but a few individuals. Under the leadership and tutelage off the McConnell Staff including, Ian MacIntosh andFaye MacDougall, the McConnell offered digital access and training to a great many Cape Bretoner’s; both young and old alike. This simply would not have happened without the library leadership; staff and physical assets. Greater Cape Breton would have been much poorer if the McConnell Library were not willing to take a chance on something new.

Cape Breton Municipality needs to take a chance today; to lead; to offer hope and create a new Library in tune with the digital world but with fulfilling the day-to-day needs of our community. We need the tools in place for our young and old; fostering the hope that our community members can attain any dream they have. Nothing less will do. CBRM, please exercise the leadership entrusted to you, support the creation of a new modern library.

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Jonathan Pretty Follow Me
Absolutely not, making these stupid vanity decisions put us in the poor house. We have google, we don't need to burden the taxpayers with an overpriced underused bookcase. It is not the taxpayers responsibility ti fund luxury items for the self appointed elites. No libraries until child poverty is solved!!!
Mandy Ardelli (Roy) Follow Me
You... do realize that having a library like this, one of the first to have Internet access, as Martin mentioned, is still a cornerstone in education, which can lead to careers that combat child poverty? Do you know how complicated it is GLOBALLY to solve child poverty? Libraries are not luxuries. Innovation is crucial. Google can't solve everything. You're thinking rather narrowly.
Jonathan Pretty Follow Me
Now everyone has access ti the worlds knowledge in their pockets, it is cheaper to provide smartphones and internet access to everyone instead of funding a bookcase. Libraries today are a waste of resources, we have hungry children here in the CBRM lets feed them first before we start any vanity projects. For the useless parasites that infect our society.
Mandy Ardelli (Roy) Follow Me
Clearly we disagree on this. It's unfortunate the narrow thinking you have on this, but it doesn't appear anyone can change your mind. How would you solve child poverty?
Jonathan Pretty Follow Me
We most certainly do disagree, it is not my narrow thinking but your lack of thinking..Start feeding the hungry children would be a start.We have tons of empty community centers now, we don't neee anymore. You want a library yiu pay for it out if your pocket. Leave the rest of us taxpayers alone.
Allie Macinnis Follow Me
Wow, Dinosaur, have not all disappeared
Mathew Georghiou Follow Me
Perhaps the term "library" should be replaced with "community centre" to help people understand that a modern library is not a 1950s building with dusty old books organized by the Dewey Decimal System and a gathering place for people hushing each other to be quiet. A modern library is a community centre. And it's one part of helping fight poverty. It provides computing devices and Internet access for those who cannot afford it. It provides a gathering space for people to come together (and who may not be able to afford other fee-based gatherings). It provides a place for children to be safe and for their parents to take a breath. A library provides support for those who cannot consume the world's knowledge through a screen. I'm certainly no expert on libraries or community centres. And I'm not a big advocate of spending unnecessary money on fancy buildings for ribbon cuttings (I prefer we spend money on people). But I certainly see the value a modern library can provide to a community, particularly one that is fighting poverty.
Martin MacLellan My Post Follow Me
Well said Matt..if you don't mind I'll pass your comments along to Pat Bates. I know he would appreciate this type of feedback.
Mathew Georghiou Follow Me
Sure, but you may already know that the has covered the library well, much better than my few sentences here. There is a particular article that I remember reading which I felt did a nice job of explaining how important a modern library is to a community. But I can't seem to find it to share with you ... all of their articles are on their website.
Martin MacLellan My Post Follow Me
I likely passed that along to Pat already. Thanks for the heads up though.

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