Thursday, February 14, 2008

Victoria Librarians Locked Out!

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2008, Vancouver Sun

VICTORIA -- "All nine branches of the Greater Victoria Public Library are expected to be closed starting Sunday as a labour dispute between the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association and its unionized workers escalates.

The GVPL board voted today to lock out Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 410, in a bid to bring an end to the five-month-long labour dispute.

Ed Seedhouse, president of CUPE Local 410, said the membership of close to 300 is "angry, determined and resolved" in bringing about a satisfactory agreement.

I think the GVLRA are making a big mistake if they think we are not resolved and that we're not determined," Seedhouse said Wednesday.

"Unfortunately, I think a lot of people in Victoria who are innocent bystanders are going to have to suffer over the loss of their library services."

Key issues are pay equity with Victoria municipal workers and fair treatment for auxiliary workers.
Library staff began strike action on Sept. 7, 2007, but had remained on the job.

The labour dispute "is to the stage where the library can no longer operate viably," Ron Brunsden, chief negotiator of the GVLRA, said today.

The union's decision to stop collecting late fees and fines have cost the library $50,000 a month in revenue, he said, "and that's over half a million dollars a year - there's no facility to make that up."

There's no real pressure because the employees are still going to work, he said. "They're not providing the programs they're paid to provide to the public and we're still paying them full wages. They're working at 75-per-cent efficiency. No business can carry on like that for very long."

Source: Canwest News Service

See also: Love Your Library, CUPE 410

And Library Journal, Norman Oder's recent article: As Labor War Escalates, Victoria, BC, Library To Close Indefinitely

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Essential facets of Librarianship

Rory LitwinExcerpt from Rory Litwin's blog entry,
Annotated list of things not to forget (in the 2.0 craze)...

Posted by RL: January 6, 2008, Library Juice

"I’ve been brainstorming about some essential facets of librarianship - skills, roles, services, problems - that while they have not lost any relevance have lately been ignored, passed over, forgotten, swept under the rug, or declared obsolete and old-fashioned by the vocal minority of librarians whose main concern now seems to be to create a new librarianship that is not saddled with the old baggage. I will say, editorially, that I think much of the energy behind Library 2.0 springs from insecurity about the usefulness of what we do as librarians and insecurity about the seriousness of the knowledge base that it involves (a problem that may derive in part from a decline in standards in library education)."