October 18, 2016 2:09 pm
Updated: October 18, 2016 5:04 pm

Closing the book: Montreal Children’s Library closes 2 branches

WATCH ABOVE: It's one of the oldest privately funded libraries in the city, but the Montreal Children's Library is closing two of its three branches. Global's Gloria Henriquez reports.

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It’s one of the oldest privately funded libraries in the city, but the Montreal Children’s Library is closing two of its three branches next week.

The downtown and Little Burgundy branches will close on Friday, Oct. 28 due to lack of funding.

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“Even though we’ve tried doing special events and also sending out our annual letter, people have not been able to help us to maintain the level that we have in our current organization,” Helen Kyne, the executive director of the Montreal Children’s Library said.

The City of Montreal currently pays 30 per cent of the library’s budget, but the rest is collected through fundraising.

Right now, the library is about $70,000 short of what it needs to stay alive and in addition to losing two of the branches, some jobs will be cut.

Kyne explained to Global News donations have decreased so much, they have to focus their efforts on the only remaining library — the one in Saint-Michel, which has the highest traffic.

Mother Rachel Romano with her children in the library, Tuesday, October 18, 2016.

Gloria Henriquez/Global News

A family affair

The branch at the Tyndale St-Georges Community Centre in Little Burgundy has been around for over 30 years.

The library means a lot for community members, like Rachel Romano, who often brings her three-year-old twins there.

“It’s heartbreaking, this place is second home to us,” Romano said.

“It’s just part of my family, I cannot conceive this place closing.”

The community centre said it will take over the program until December in an effort to raise enough funds to keep it going.

Canada Helps, an organization dedicated to raising funds for non-profit organizations says libraries are the cornerstone of many communities.

“They’re about much more than books, they’re about social services, they’re community organizations,” Paul Nazareth with Canada Helps said.

Canada Helps is encouraging the public to donate through their website.

“Most people in the public think they’re municipally-funded, government funded and they don’t always think of them as a charity and it’s really hard for library teams to do their best to get that message out and get those donations in,” Nazareth added.

Kyne is hoping the organization’s partners at the downtown branch will also step in to keep it open.

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