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To follow up on Ryan\'s story, The Guardian Says the British Library was closed by strike action for first time.
The 24-hour closure was over the library\'s refusal to raise a 4% pay award to staff. These include the library assistants - some of them earning only £10,000 to £15,000 a year.The strike closed the new St Pancras building\'s total of six reading rooms and a similar room at the library\'s outstation in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire. Scholars at a third centre, the British Newspaper Library at Colindale, north London, were only able to work if they had ordered material in advance.
Managing Information reports:
The management of the British Library has been notified by the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union that it plans to take strike action over the Library\'s 2001-2002 pay offer.
A recent BL press release stated the British Library\'s management is \"disappointed that PCS has decided to strike. The pay offer averaging 4% has already been accepted by two of the three unions that represent staff at the Library. The offer is double the current rate of inflation and higher than the average for the cultural sector (3.8%). Furthermore, staff are aware that the Library does not have the funds to improve on the offer\".
Charles Davis writes \"The first of two weeklong library closures begins in a few weeks, as
the Seattle Public Library tries to reduce spending by $1.8 million to
help the city balance its budget next year.
All libraries in the city will shut down from Aug. 26 to Sept 1. That
means residents will not have access to catalogs, book drops,
computers, Web site, mobile services or even the automated
telephone line. Employees will not be paid.
The Post Int. \"
The public library system of Cincinnati & Hamilton county in Ohio is shutting the doors on five of its forty-one branches on September 1. The library has lost over $4 million in state funding. Soma patrons intend to contact the governor\'s office. Read More.
Book drops closed, no access to catalog, web site shut down, computers not available, no programs, no telephone service, etc. This is all for just one week in August and one in December, but yikes, what happens next time? Read the press release.
With Ohio\'s slumping economy, cuts to state funding for some agencies is necessary to fill a $1 billion gap. According to Governor Taft, \"In these tough times we have to tighten our belts, while giving priority to basic education support and programs affecting seniors and the health and safety of our citizens.\" Others criticize the move, saying that the cuts will jeopardize some citizens. The Columbus Dispatch has More Here.
They repeat what we most likely already know, Libraries at research institutions,
including the University of
Guelph, have been struggling
with higher material prices for
two decades, and one of the
most prominent problems is the
skyrocketing price of prestigious,
high-end journals professors
want. The price of journals increased 226 per cent between 1986 and 2000, while
the cost of monographs (books) increased 66 per cent.
\"Libraries are being starved for funds. What is most seriously happening is the
price of materials is going up, and libraries are less able to purchase them. It
is most acute with journals,\" said Chris Dennis, chair of the Canadian
Association of University Teachers librarians committee.
\"What\'s causing the problem is the increased commercialization of the
industry. Academics need to know articles have been scrutinized by their
colleagues,\" Dennis said. \"
Gregg Martinson writes \"Minnesota has closed it\'s professional resource library, severely reduced the capacity of the services in the state library for the blind and reduced it\'s professional support system for school libraries across the state. The uproar in the library community has been severe, and the commissioner for the state has responded in a curt fashion. Don\'t expect a response from Jessie \"the Mind\" Ventura. Its a sad time for librarians, especially school librarians in Minnesota. \"
Gary D. Price, The Virtual Acquisition Shelf and News Desk Guy, sent over This AP Story that says One year after launching a foundation to buy books for
America\'s libraries, first lady Laura Bush said Tuesday that she\'s off to a $5
million start -- with help from her mother-in-law.
Mrs. Bush said the donations will help expand the collections of neglected
libraries ``from fact and fiction to periodicals and prize-winning books.\'\'
``... And the wonderful thing is, once a child learns to use a library, the
doors to learning are always open.\'\'