Library fine for time being after computer access funding slashed

Kitimat library director hopeful CAP funding will return.

Kitimat Public Library director Virginia Charron is hopeful the federal government will back away from its plan to shelve funding for the Community Access Program (CAP).

In April it was announced that B.C. would lose out on $515,000 from CAP, a program which provides computer and Internet access to library patrons.

Kitimat’s library received approximately $5,000-to-$6,000 from the program, money which went towards maintenance of its hardware and software, said Charron.

However it’s not entirely the grim news it may appear.

The equipment the Kitimat library has is in excellent condition, better than some other library facilities, said Charron.

“We are a CAP site,” she said on why their equipment is currently in good shape.

Some of their computer equipment has come through under other programs, she added.

As well, this year’s CAP funding has come through, meaning Kitimat won’t actually be hit financially until next year.

“We should be absolutely fine for 18 months,” she said.

She noted there has been large public outcry over the budget move and that they are crossing their fingers that it will be overturned.

She also said the Friends of the Kitimat Library group can be a source of funding if needed.

The cut to CAP sparked a response from the BC Library Association. They issued a release in late April urging the federal government to re-look at their decision “in order to ensure that all Canadians continue to have critical access to the current technology infrastructure in their communities.”