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St. Croix Courier - February 12, 2013 - Business News

posted Feb 23, 2013, 10:35 AM by SOS SaveOceanScience   [ updated Mar 1, 2013, 6:39 AM ]

S0S continuing to fight for retention of Biological Station library

Barb Rayner


Save Oceans Sciences (S0S) is continuing its fight to save jobs and the library at the biological station.

S0S is a group formed last spring to raise concerns about continuing cuts to the station's science capac­ity and the closure of the library and Caroline Davies gave an update on its activities at the Feb. 11 town council meeting.

The intention of the group was to try and stop loss of jobs and closing of the library, said Davies, who explained the station not only brings the benefit of some families to the community but is world-renowned facility with a world-renowned library that draws university students and research scientists' to Saint Andrews.

"If the holdings are not going to be available they are going to go else-where and that also 'has an economic spin-off for the town."

Projected savings from the closure of the library are grossly over-estimated, said Davies. S0S has estimated the lost productivity at the station will be more than $200,000 - nearly $100,000 more than the cost of the two librarians who are being laid off.

Davies said New Brunswick South-west MP John Williamson has not since responded to requests for an update since a meeting in August. However, Charlotte-Campobello MLA Curtis Malloch (PC) arranged ,a meeting with Minister of Fisheries, Agriculture and Aquaculture . Michael Olscamp, who Davies described as "very supportive of what S0S. is doing."

Next efforts include meeting with other town councils and contacting groups in Rimouski/Mont Joli, Winni­peg and Ontario areas to explore collaborative efforts to save libraries. .

Coun. Edie Bishop said this is a really important issue for the town ,and for the station staff. She said there are so many spin­offs from making a decision like this and it almost seems like they are taking a step backwards.

Coun. Lee Sochasky said the library has extensive holdings and having them boxed up and put in storage would be a serious blow to the scientific capability of Canada.

Town manager Tim Henderson suggested that with the type of work S0S is doing, the Regional Service Commission should provide space on its agenda for a presentation and Mayor Stan Choptiany said this was an excellent idea.