Employment & Work Stories

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."

Boston Globe editorial against privatizing public libraries

Tuesday's Boston Globe has an editorial against privatizing public libraries:

"Libraries serve as the heart and mind of their communities, welcoming preschool children to the world of reading and connecting adults to books, movies, music and the vast reaches of the Internet. They aren't as vital as police or fire services, but neither are they as easily outsourced as park maintenance or garbage collection.

Privatizing libraries elsewhere in the country has yielded mixed results. A private company can only work within the budget that it's given, and its goal is to spend sparingly, or cut back, in order to make a profit. For example, Library Systems and Services, a Maryland company, manages public libraries in California, Kansas, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas."

Massachusetts is home to the nation's first free public library. That's a legacy worth preserving. Municipal belt-tightening only goes so far. It's up to the taxpaying public to make the investment - to protect a vital source of information and insight."

Also the Swiss Army Librarian has a posting on the privatization issue:

Lockout at BC library has unintended consequences

The lockout at the Greater Victoria Public Library is hurting more than casual readers.

Some local writers and researchers, who depend on the library to make their living, are eager to see an end to the dispute that has closed all nine branches for more than a month.

People who are visually impaired, who rely on the talking books program at the main library, are also upset the lockout has dragged on since Feb. 17. The key issue in the dispute is pay equity.

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