NSW State Library reductions

Someone wrote in about yet another sory on reduction in library services. This one at one of the major research libraries in Australia. The article is from the Sydney Morning Herald.\"The number of users who visited the buildings on Macquarie Street had dropped by 21 per cent in the past three years to a million a year. At the same time, Web access has increased more than 16-fold to 14 million. \"It\'s a shift of the way services are delivered by the library,\" the spokesman said.

\"The Herald will continue to be indexed online. The spokesman said the Good Weekend magazine was being indexed by other libraries. News Ltd papers are not indexed online at the State Library.\"

\"He also rejected union claims that cuts were necessary because the library had overspent its budget. \"Our budget is not in deficit. We have been managing that well over the last three months,\" he said.

\"Already the opening hours of the stacks has been reduced, and the online indexing of Fairfax publications The Sun-Herald and Good Weekend terminated as staff have been moved to cover for departed colleagues.\"

\"Library management is adamant core services will not suffer in the reorganisation.\"

\"But historian Ms Joy Hughes, who has been a regular user of the Mitchell Library wing since 1972, says services have already suffered. It takes longer for books to be brought from the stacks. And when books are missing from their usual spot, staff no longer have the time to search for them.\"

\"Library staff say they have not been consulted about the changes affecting their work and, as part of a union campaign, staff did not answer telephone calls yesterday. Services would be back to normal today, the Public Service Association said.\"

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