Employment & Work Stories

To explain something from the podcast further: podcasters-in-residence

I imagine that the opening to this week's podcast was a little jarring. All I can say is that that was necessary. I will try to explain such further.

What was in the script was:

The production team for Listen is looking for a new home. Due to workplace uncertainties we want to move the show soon. Any library, whatever the type, willing to host the production team that might have related tasks the team could work on is asked to think about it. Provided that work visas are possible, we are willing to consider moving to locations in the Commonwealth of Nations. Our main preference is to stay away from Lake Erie Lake Effect Snow areas within the United States. With a former federal contractor computer technician on the production team, we have knowledge and skills that could bring value to your institution. To talk about this, hit us at the contact form on LISNews but please make sure you complete ALL options shown so Blake is not flooded. You can also send us faxes and e-mails by following the instructions found at lisnews.org/podcast.

Perhaps I might have been too delicate in writing that. Unless we hear otherwise my father is out of a job on April 28th. To use a slang word popular in local television ads, we do not need a blamestorming session for that. Efforts are underway to keep him in place but due to the budget at work being in deficit for the second fiscal year running his departure may be unavoidable. In my own workplace environment things have become unstable due to circumstances beyond my control and the likelihood of a RIF is increasing.

Can the team find new work locally? Right now the mix of available jobs is not pretty in Las Vegas. I do not see either of us able to pull off being waiters all that well. Beyond that, there is not a whole lot out there.

For the purpose of having it on-hand, I put together a budget showing hold-in costs to keep us in place in Nevada until the end of the calendar year. The budget would assume that we would handle the podcast full-time with other production duties mixed in. The total budget including payroll, fixed costs like rent and utilities, and other such expenses came out to a little under sixty thousand dollars. The budget assumed nothing for benefits as frankly nobody here has that at the moment.

So, what was the pitch about at the beginning of the podcast? A potential way around that hold-in scenario would be to have the production team relocated. If there happened to be a library that could host us we would be happy to join your team on a visiting basis. The podcast audio engineer has a few years experience as a computer technician making all sorts of things work ranging from old boxes running CP/M to Sun SPARCStations to SGI Indy and beyond. I have limited experience in electronics and have been a serving cataloger.

The notion would be that a library, preferably academic or public, would host the production team on a visiting basis. The team would have normal and appropriate day to day duties but also have podcast production included in the mix. In terms of relocating, we will be free pretty soon to do such I fear. Some areas we would consider relocating to include:

  • Pacific Northwest
  • Areas of the southern United States not prone to hurricanes and otherwise not California
  • West Virginia
  • Mid-Atlantic states except for Lake Effect Snow areas
  • Canada
  • England
  • Guam
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

I am trying to be prudent in bringing this up. If anything I want to throw the notion out there for folks to consider. There are several ways to reach me. You can find those at http://lisnews.org/node/29265 with telephone numbers in standardized format. If anybody has interest in exploring this seemingly radical notion that is somewhat old-fashioned outside librarianship, please let me know.

Life sometimes throws curveballs. Living is not always a matter of determining how one might act. All too often this modern life requires more attention to how to react. -- Read More

Woodland CA library board could have "done better job at hiring"

In The Daily Democrat - Woodland,CA - Gregg Atkins isn't happy with The Woodland Library Board. The job announcement asked for "five years of increasingly responsible experience in professional public library administration "

But he says the new librarian brings no actual library management experience to the city library.

She has never managed a branch, a department, or a regular library program area. And, actually, apparently brings no professional librarian experience: Has never worked a reference desk or done readers' advisory, never selected books or other materials, never designed and carried out children's and young adult services, managed circulation and patron services, never trained and supervised library staff never done the work she is now responsible for managing and improving. Talk about on-the-job training!

Library union, management work together to get ready to reopen

Back To Work! Susan Henderson was in a comfy fleece top and leggings, not the business dress she usually wears as manager of community relations. Much of her day Friday was spent in the dark returns room at the Central Library on Broughton Street, packing up books and CDs that were being pushed through the return slot.

“Look at their poor spines!” said Henderson, quickly picking up the books that shot through before they became too piled up.

Holmes too was ready to do whatever needed to be done to get the libraries ready for opening. Union and management agreed that to prepare for reopening, managers could do work normally done by employees.

More on Brenda Biesterfeld

Follow-up on Tulare County librarian Brenda Biesterfeld from the Visalia Times, informing us that records for both the fired librarian and the library from which she was fired can now be seen on-line. Here's the letter from the attorneys representing the library(a pdf file).

To download the personnel file and supervisor drop file regarding former Tulare County librarian Brenda Biesterfeld, go to this website, LC.org.

Oh, and that LC's not for Library of Congress, it's for Liberty Counsel whose motto is "Restoring the Culture one Case at a Time by Advancing Religious Freedom, the Sanctity of Human Life and the Traditional Family".

Should the public library no longer be public?

The Tewksbury Advocate - Concord,MA - Has A Good Look at outsourcing. “The cost to run the library is half of what it was before, but of course they are open half the amount of hours they were before,” said Olney, adding that the Jackson County Library Foundation has been run by LSSI for six months. “All the people who work for the library now do not have the same benefits,” said Kinard. “I don’t have a retirement program anymore. We are no longer public employees, we are now private employees.”

Victoria library lockout officially over; pay equity issue resolved

A six-week lockout of library workers in Victoria is over after the two sides solved the contentious issue of pay equity. Unionized library workers will receive an annual 2-per-cent increase for the next four years to bring them up to par with other library workers in the province. They'll also receive a 3-per-cent general wage increase, giving them what amounts to a 20-per cent raise over four years.
Now, with this deal signed, both sides have agreed that the issue has been dealt with once and for all.

BC Union ratifies deal with library

Hey Hey Ho Ho This Strike Has Got To Go, or so they say in British Columbia. The Greater Victoria Public Library and its locked-out workers have reached a deal that could see libraries reopen early next week.

CUPE Local 410 and the board of the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association signed a memorandum of agreement yesterday that gives 250 employees pay equity in line with other municipal wages in the region. The union voted 85 per cent in favour in a ratification vote last night at Central Middle School. The memorandum includes pay increases for support workers called pages and creates nine regular positions -- one per library -- for the pages who are classified as auxiliary workers.

Stress, a Library-Related Condition

Are you stressed "out of your skull"? Former librarian Sarah Nelson of Nelson Consulting, told a School Library Journal reporter that today's librarians are facing a lot of stress over technological changes in the field.

More on the PLA conference just concluded in Minneapolis and other observations on the current status of librarians can also be found in the article. The common theme at the 12th National Public Library Association Conference, from March 25 to 29, was how libraries have embraced 21st century skills as their patrons’ research and recreational needs have changed.

Libraries old and new have become state-of-the art facilities that are helping kids and teens become lifelong library users by offering interactive media, getting them involved in designing their own spaces and programs, and by partnering with other agencies to provide homework help and employment opportunities.

BC Library deal in sight, union says

The Greater Victoria Public Library labour dispute could be over by Monday after talks yesterday went "extremely well," according to union representative Ed Seedhouse. Locked-out library workers and their employer sat down for a six-hour session yesterday, and plan to meet again Monday.

Seedhouse said he's feeling "very positive," noting the main issues have already been hammered out. He said he thinks the union will have an agreement it can recommend to the membership on Monday.

A New Director for the Salt Lake City Public Library

Following up on a previous article here on LISNews, we now know the identity of the new Director of the beautiful Salt Lake City Library. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that it's Elizabeth Elder, up til now, planning director at the Denver Public Library, who has been selected to replace retired Director Nancy Tessman.
"I just feel so honored to have a chance to bring my experience and knowledge to share with others," Elder said Tuesday. "And I see this as a great learning opportunity for me."

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