When it comes to the many services provided by Ontario municipalities, libraries are often one of the resources which are unfortunately taken for granted.
Just about any program or service cities such as Oshawa direct taxpayer dollars towards will have naysayers claiming it to be a wasteful or unnecessary cost.
This is understandable in most cases, as not everything taxes pay for have a benefit that is immediately tangible.
In today’s society, libraries go far beyond just being a place to check out your favourite book.
They provide quality, educational programming to children and teens, as well as help for seniors who may be trying to brush up on their Internet or social media skills.
In this week’s edition of The Express, an article highlights the free tax clinics offered throughout March and April by the Oshawa Public Libraries in collaboration with a number of partners.
In January, the city’s library board unanimously passed a recommendation that a new library be built within the next five years to serve Oshawa’s growing population.
The board also advised the city consider a ‘stand-alone’ library facility in the process.
At this point, there has been no further discussions on this recommendation, and if a fifth library is built it won’t be coming any time in the near future.
But the proposal of a stand-alone library is something to get behind.
Just look at Whitby’s library branch on Dundas Street East – it’s a great example of the type of infrastructure Oshawa could strive to build.
A second important question in all of this, is where should a potential fifth library go.
Oshawa’s four current libraries are either situated east of, or in the case of the McLaughlin branch, just to the west of Simcoe Street South.
There is a gaping library hole to be filled in the city’s north west and west areas.
These are all part of a discussion which will take due diligence and careful consideration.
But one thing is for sure, a fifth library branch is an investment that makes sense in the City of Oshawa.