Employment & Work Stories

Gift Cards for Library Employees a No-No

Good intentions. Bad idea. Those words summarize the recent attempt by Live Oak (GA) Public Libraries Director Christian Kruse to spend nearly $23,000 in library funds on gift cards for 166 employees.

The cards were valued at $50, $100 and $200 and were meant to recognize part-time and full-time employees after about three years of stagnant salaries and increased health care costs, Kruse said.

He said the cards were meant to be a small token for the work the staff does and were paid for with surplus revenue from a special fund from book sales, fines and fee revenue. Finance Director Neal Vickers later said revenue from copying and printing fees was used.

One problem is the gift cards may have violated restrictions on the use of public funds, according to state officials.

The gratuities clause of the Georgia Constitution prohibits the use of public funds for gifts or bonuses, said Ronald Watson, director of the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts’ education division. A state audit of the library probably would cite the purchase as improper, he said.

Any money that comes from library operations, which are state supported, should be invested in operations, and gift cards don’t qualify, Watson said. More from Savannah Now.

Welcome to Amazon Town

"Retired 'Workampers' Flock to Remote Towns for Temporary Gigs...a sort of modern-day migrant worker. Many of them are retirees who spend all or part of the year living in RVs and taking odd seasonal jobs around the country. While some workers really need the money, others said they take the gigs to help fund their adventures or just for fun."

More from the Wall Street Journal.

Few takers for library science in India

Few takers for library science
If estimates presented in a study by the librarian at the Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA) Shailesh Yagnik are to be believed, currently 2,22,350 people are engaged in libraries in higher secondary institutions, general colleges, professional colleges, central libraries and district and town libraries.

According to him, despite the higher potential of growth in LIS education, students are not interested in taking up the course.

If I were a poor, out-of-work librarian

Holy Crap. Some guy at Forbes wrote an article called, "If I Were A Poor Black Kid." Why a poor, black kid? Why didn't he just say, "If I were a kid"? If you remove "poor black" from his essay, it still makes grammatical sense AND it doesn't sound like some WHITE guy just got total amnesia about our history. So if you read the article, just try to ignore that it's completely misplaced advice, but try to focus on the details. Otherwise, damn, he sounds stupid.

With that in mind, I'm going to attempt to solve all the problems of the out-of-work librarian. And it will probably sound just as stupid.

IF I WERE A POOR OUT-OF-WORK LIBRARIAN.

If you're a librarian and unemployed, I don't need to tell you that there are lots of other librarians out there looking for a job.

If I were a poor, out-of-work librarian, I would read "If I Were A Poor Black Kid." And I would do what the author says to do about "getting technical." Most of this stuff can be learned through your local library. I hope you knew that.

If possible, I would learn another language. As much as I could. I would give up my free time and devote every second to making myself the most attractive candidate for the job. But for now, I'll assume you've made it past the application stage and have been called for an interview. -- Read More

Howard facing lawsuit after librarian found guilty of sexual misconduct charges

Howard facing lawsuit after librarian found guilty of sexual misconduct charges
Five Howard University students have filed suit in federal court alleging that school officials did not do enough to protect them from an employee later convicted of sexual harassment and assault.

The students, all women, say that a librarian, their work-study supervisor at Howard University’s Founders Library, verbally and physically assaulted them from September 2010 to April 2011. The suit alleges that even though students complained about his conduct, nothing was done until D.C. police were notified.

Talking About Salaries...in Topeka

With two master’s degrees and her own business, Terry Miller can help a small business owner make a marketing plan or a new entrepreneur perform market segmentation analysis.

And Kathy Jennings knows of at least a dozen manuals on building a deck and where to find the best recipes for apple pie.

Both are ready and willing to share their expertise with the people of Shawnee County — for free.

They are librarians at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.
Eighty-one employees at the library make more than $40,000 a year, while 49 make more than $50,000 a year. Twelve, mostly managers and administrators, make more than $70,000. CEO Gina Millsap has the highest salary — at $129,549 this year.

Millsap said those wages reflect the market — a competitive price to hire the best and brightest to staff what she described as “a world-class library.” Millsap’s 2010 salary of $125,776 is less than the average Midwest library director’s salary by $12,000, according to the Allen County Public Library National Survey for 2010.

More from Capital-Journal Online.

Judge dismisses discrimination, defamation claims by former Lexington library CEO

Judge dismisses discrimination, defamation claims by former Lexington library CEO
A Fayette Circuit Court judge has thrown out former Lexington Public Library chief executive Kathleen Imhoff's claims that she was discriminated against due to her gender and defamed following the termination of her employment in 2009.

However, Imhoff's third claim — that her employment contract was violated — still stands.

What not to study: The 20 university degrees with the highest unemployment rates

Obviously, your choice of degree affects your employability. There are other factors to consider, such as the popularity of the degree and the earning potential - all of which you can view here. But for a simple look, below are the 20 highest and lowest unemployment rates by degree."

Graduates of "library science," it seems, have one of the highest rates of unemployment. The post is based on 2010 Census data (via the Wall Street Journal). More...

[Thanks Von!]

A Pyschologically Healthy Library

The Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library recently received the Psychologically Healthy Workplace award from the Ohio Psychological Association. Leslie Hartley, adult services manager, accepted the award on behalf of the library. Kudos!

The application process for this award was part of the library’s ongoing wellness initiative, spearheaded by Hartley.

“The evaluation team was impressed by the library staff’s quick recovery and teamwork following the widespread economic meltdown of 2009, and their success in rebuilding their work teams and service model,” said Hartley.

The library’s award-winning wellness initiative, also recognized by Ohio, includes a demonstration garden, nutrition and exercise information, participation in charity events such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bowl-a-Thon and several 5K runs, and inclusion of the broader community in the library’s wellness activities.

The library’s wellness program is being nominated for a national Psychologically Healthy Workplace award as well.

Story from Chillicothe Gazette.

The Stand-Up Librarian Is 'Released' by Library Where She Was Employed

"So a comedian walks into a library and decides to work there …"

That's not my line. It's from Meredith Myers, the self-described Standup Librarian who just had something very unfunny happen to her.

She got fired from a West Hollywood library job that she loved.

But let's back up, all the way to Florida, where Myers discovered as a child that a library is a place to think, dream and figure things out. As an adult, she grabbed books on the PR business, leading to a 10-year career as a publicist. Then she checked out books on stand-up comedy and became a comedian. Then, about five years ago, she realized what she really wanted to be when she grew up. A librarian.

Here's what happened earlier this week: On the morning of Oct. 25, Myers told her library colleagues that The Times was interested in her story, and that metro feature editor Nita Lelyveld and a photographer might be coming by the library the next day. "They were excited about it and happy for me," Myers said of her colleagues.

But later that day, Myers learned that library officials had some concerns about the possibility of a story in The Times. A call was made to the county library's official spokesman, Ken Kramer. Faced with the possibility of an upbeat feature celebrating a hip, funny employee whose night job included stand-up bits in which she promoted the library, Kramer offered that she could go ahead with the interview, but she couldn't say that she was a page at the West Hollywood branch. -- Read More

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