Tag Archives: Economic Crisis

Librarians, stereotypes and the reason behind budget cuts?

25 May

I’ve recently come across a book by Larry Beinhart called “The Librarian”. Even though I haven’t had much time to read these days, apart from university courses, I thought that a nice police novel would clear my mind a bit.

Not surprisingly, after a few pages, I realized that I was going to be taken into a hell of ride…. emotionally distressing to see so many cliches abounding after the first chapter. I still haven’t finished yet so I won’t tell you of the plot but rather what stuck in my mind after a few pages.

First, the hero is a MAN, not that it’s bad, or wrong in any way… but he starts off his journey firing… a woman librarian… a mousy, nondescript, middle-aged librarian. Well with Facebook groups like this one and articles like this one, I quote :

“Some wear tattoos, piercings and dress like they belong on the streets of Brooklyn instead of behind bookshelves. They’re also trying on new titles. Instead of librarians, they’re “information specialists” or “information scientists.”

…. We are a long way from our usual stereotypes associated with librarians. But let me go on to what really ticked me.

The author makes a great job by explaining WHY he is firing her: chief amongst the reasons are budget cuts in public and academic libraries and that government officials are more willing to fund a digital library than an actual library with real books and real people behind it. I am very grateful to Mr. Beinhart, author of this novel to have given me this opportunity to remind my readers that even with a magnificent digital library like Europeana or Gallica you always  have librarians, systems administrator, cataloging teams and computer specialists behind it. Although many public libraries are still being threatened by budget and staff cuts, there are many of them that have made the leap from paper to digital to reach out to their users. We should continue to encourage those efforts, in and out of the “brick & mortar” of our libraries.

Get your geek on!

9 Jul

Supporting your libraries comes in a variety of ways, creativity and passion being the foundations of the movement.

Geek your Library!

home-worms

No it’s not about technology, computers and math science stuff. It’s all about passion, interest and promotion of your knowledge, your interests. And what is the best way to “geek” (intensely love, promote and share) your library?  Find people to talk to in your community, learn what you can say about libraries (and there’s a lot!), learn more about how YOU can make a difference even if your local library is not under the threat of budget cuts.

Geek your Library is brought by the OCLC and funding by Bill & Melissa Gates’ Foundation.

I love this, we need more and more campaigns like these. Get the word out, shout it out loud and clear!

How about “shouting it out” for your libraries?

6 Jul

I thought that my first post would be about how the recent economic crisis affecting libraries. Many institutions it seems have seen their budget cut way back in reaction to the global crisis, the question I could ask is : How libraries, librarians and patrons can make a stand for their institution? There have many public appeals circulating around, on and off the Web, so here is one, a video sponsored by the New-York Public Library :

(trackback from Curtis Roger’s blog “Libraries and Life“)

I was really moved by all the little chunks of comments by people LOVING their libraries and considering them an essential part of our society, our communities and our lives. So shout it out for your libraries!

%d bloggers like this: