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Community fighting for survival of Cow Head Public Library

The Cow Head Public Library was one of many unlucky libraries to be marked for closure as part of the tough provincial budget.

Two-year-old Andi House reads through a book at the Cow Head Public Library. Andi’s mother, Cassandra Bennett, shared the picture on Facebook with the hashtag #savethelibrary, one of many efforts being organized to prevent the library’s closure.

The library’s board and the communities it serves, however, have vowed not to go down without a fight.

Nancy Brown has been a chairperson on the library board for 20 years. Lately, she has been working hard organizing petitions and calls to action to prevent the closure.

“You wouldn’t believe the support we’ve received,” Brown said. “When we reached out we had a big response; we got 490 signatures for our petition and sent it out from the board.”

Brown also penned a letter to Premier Dwight Ball. Long Range Academy students in Cow Head also wrote a letter with their thoughts and sent a school petition to the government.

Brown was deeply upset when she learned her library was chosen for closure.

“It was unbelievable; our library is the essence of the community,” Brown said.

The Cow Head Public Library provides services to three other surrounding communities — Parsons Pond, Three Mile Rock and St. Paul’s. If the library closes, these communities will have to travel as far as Rocky Harbour to access a library.

“We’re hoping they will see the importance of this library to our community,” Brown said. “We’re a rural area and we don’t have a lot of services. From our point of view, it’s so unfair.”

Cassandra Bennett is a Cow Head resident who takes her two-year-old daughter, Andi House, to the library frequently.

“We’re going there about every rainy day,” Bennet said. “She loves the library.”

In hopes of spreading awareness, Bennett posted an image of her daughter at the library on Facebook with the hashtag #savethelibrary.

Brown was taken by the photo and has used it as part of the campaign.

Like so many in the community, Bennett is dedicated to doing what she can to help prevent the library’s closure.

“We’ve done just about everything we can and we got to keep it going,” she said. “When the government’s got their mind set on something it’s so hard to change it.”

Brown and the library board will continue to put pressure on the provincial government.

“We’re fighting with all we can,” she said. “We’re not giving up; we’re never giving up.”

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