Employment & Work Stories

What now for Toronto librarians?

As has been reported elsewhere this week, 2,400 Toronto city librarians have abandoned membership in the Toronto Civic Employees Union (TCEU) Local 416. Last Tuesday, a total of 1,309 librarians cast votes on whether to stay or leave, and an overwhelming 1,037 voted in favour of leaving and forming their own union.

“The simple [explanation] is we want to speak for ourselves as library workers,” says Rob Rolfe, chair of the TCEU’s library division.

UC Librarians and Administrators at an Impasse

The American Federation of Teachers, on behalf of University of California librarians, has reached an impasse with the university after a two-year struggle for salary increases that the university claims it cannot afford. UCSD Guardian reports.

Confidential discussions with a state-appointed mediator — provided by the State Mediation and Conciliation Service — are slated for March 24, an attempt to end a drawn-out negotiation process that began in 2007.

UC librarians, who demand that their salaries be raised to an amount slightly less than those offered at California State University campuses, claim the university has failed to take the negotiations seriously.

“If they would start bargaining, we might lower our original requests,” chief mediator for UC librarians Mike Rotkin said. “We are not locked into a position. We want to see both sides moving toward each other, and that’s what was not happening. We want them to move before we continue to move.”

Blogging: Career-Building Block or Blunder?

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Despite opinions to the contrary, blogging can be good for your academic career. So says John Dupuis, head of the Steacie Science & Engineering Library at York University, in Toronto, on his blog, Confessions of a Science Librarian.

The days of making a big splash with a personal blog may be over (see a recent article in Wired), but in this era of Googling, blogging is still a good way to build a reputation, promote yourself (something job seekers should do more often), and network with like-minded individuals, Dupuis suggests, using excerpts from an article by Graham Lavender, a McGill University library student, to prove his point.

For Those Interested in Employment

Okay this is a recruiting post. I no longer work in public libraries and have gone to "the dark side". However I am aware that many of my fellow Librarians are looking for work and are open to opportunities other than the Public/Academic field.

My company is hiring for several positions. These do require a technical background as well or at least a technical aptitude. Two positions, however do not.

There is a catch...you must like Winter as the company is in New York state.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Librarian's Dream Job Turns Into a Bad Dream

Donna Schremser, former director of the Huntsville Madison Cty (AL) Public Library, was hired as Director of the New Orleans Public Library in September 2007, a dream job for her. She threw herself into bringing New Orleans' libraries back from the devastation of Katrina.

It was a honeymoon early on. Schremser was quoted in The Huntsville Times in November 2007, saying she would "follow (Irving Mayfield Jr.) anywhere." Mayfield is the 30-year-old jazz trumpeter who leads the New Orleans library board.

The honeymoon didn't last long for either one of them. Now, about a year later, Mayfield has replaced Schremser with 36-year old Rica Triggs, a former mayoral aide who isn't a professional librarian.

More from the Huntsville Times. The story was also reported in an October Library Journal article.

Librarianship A Top Profession for 2009

Danielle Dreger-Babbitt reports in the Examiner.com that being a librarian is one of the top 30 professions in the coming year (she has been in the field for 13 years). It ranks up there with physical therapist, veterinarian, and pharmacist. It has been on the list for several years now and it's no wonder why: it's a pretty awesome job.

Librarianship is an underrated career. Most librarians love helping patrons solve their problems and, in the process, learning new things. Librarians may also go on shopping sprees, deciding which books and online resources to buy. They may even get to put on performances, like children's puppet shows, and run other programs, like book discussion groups for elders. On top of it all, librarians' work environment is usually pleasant and the work hours reasonable, although you may have to work nights and/or weekends. The job market for special librarians is good but is sluggish for public and school librarians. Nevertheless, persistent sleuthing—that key attribute of librarians—should enable good candidates to prevail.

Allegations of racism surface at Louisiana libraries

Bossier Parish Police Juror is calling for changes to the Bossier Parish Library System after past and present employees have brought forward allegations of racism and race-based hiring.

Library employees allege a laundry list of racist practices in the hiring and treatment of black employees by the library administration, which employees say came to a head last fall when an assistant cataloguer who is white, mentioned a need to use a whip for motivation in front of two black employees.

Seattle Director IS Named Today

Possibly later today, one of three finalists, profiled and pictured in this Seattle PI article will be named Director of the Seattle Public Library.

A selection committee will recommend one of three finalists to the post as early as today. They are Susan Hildreth, the California state librarian; Jane Light, who heads the San Jose Public Library; and Rivkah Sass, director of the Omaha Public Library. The previous Seattle city librarian, Deborah Jacobs, left in July to take a job at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

If you hear/see the announcement, please let us know the results...THANKS Heidi, it's Susan Hildreth.

Finalists Picked for the Seattle Library

Time to do the 'Director Job Shuffle' dance.

Seattle PI: A search committee on Tuesday, announced three finalists for the top position of the Seattle Public Library.

The committee, appointed by the library's board of trustees, narrowed the field for the position of city librarian/CEO to the following: Susan Hildreth, the state librarian of California; Jane E. Light, director of the San Jose (Calif.) Public Library; and Rivkah K. Sass, executive director of the Omaha (Neb.) Public Library.

Running this state of the art library system will not only take an extraordinary director and librarian, it will require someone who can handle all the many needs of the $290.7 million "Libraries for All" project. In the past ten years, there have been four new libraries in communities without library service, the replacement, expansion or renovation of 22 existing branches, and of course the new Central Library.

Who would be your pick?

Librarian's Widow Wins Damages

Lakewood NJ: The Board of Education has agreed to pay $32,500 to settle a lawsuit brought by the widow of a former librarian whom she said died partly because of harassment from his co-workers and superiors.

Cheryl A. Watson, in her complaint filed with the state Superior Court in April 2007, claimed Assistant Superintendent Joseph C. Attardi, Assistant Principal Anne D. Luick, teacher and librarian Roz Renner, and other school officials discriminated against her late husband, George Watson Jr., because of his race and disabilities.

Here is his 2005 obituary.


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