Wednesday, March 3, 2010

grim and grimmer

Oh crikey, the pink slips are on their way. I'm not going to get one - been at LAPL since card catalog days; you do the math - but it looks like we'll be saying goodbye and good luck this summer to some of our brightest stars, simply because they had the misfortune of being hired last. Many of them are children's librarians.

Word of our Save the Library campaign is getting out. American Libraries reported on it, as did radio station KPFK.

If enough of our staff is laid off and branches begin to close, programs like this one at the Echo Park Branch (thanks, Candace of Book! Booker! Bookest!) may become more rare.

Here's a small bit of joy for librarians - sign up for The Spectacle's contest by March 25 and you may win 11 wonderful fantasy and science fiction books for kids! Only librarians are eligible - thank you, Spectacle!


  1. Well. Just, please send real children's librarians to work at Central/Southern branches when most of us (7 of us) are laid off. These branches truly need energetic, fun, caring children's librarians, not adult-librarians-forced-to-be-youth-librarians. Even if our stats our low in this area, it's not because we aren't doing good work every single day, investing in the lives of these wonderful and important kids.

  2. I agree with Sarah. This area desperately needs great, enthusiastic children's librarians. Our patrons need someone to advocate for them. It's a constant uphill battle to try and reach one or two kids. But the payoff is enormous. I think the revised BLS is aware of that, but it's always good to have outside pressure applied.

    Personally, I feel lucky that I have options. I wanted to thank you for your help in that.

  3. My heart aches -- for the children as well as for the librarians who will be laid off. Is it certain? Is there no possibility of a reprieve?

  4. Yes, when I worked in Austin with their YA division, the children's area was mostly staffed by adult librarians who'd "bumped" kids staff in the last layoff. It made for a beyond depressing atmosphere... none of them put any joy into their work and storytimes were abysmal.
    I think they've really turned things around now, but it took them a decade to finally get great people in that department again.

    I am disheartened at how eager the mayor seems to be to cut library staff. I'm surprised too, that more furloughs weren't attempted. 3.5 hours a week is nothing!

  5. Happy to do my part to shine a light on the good work done by librarians! I just hope there will be some left after all the budget slashing.

  6. The thing that horrifies me most is what Sarah and Jennifer and Madigan commented on - that many branches simply won't have trained children's librarians. There are already vacancies, and they'll be widespread with the planned lay-offs. It's truly a catastrophe.

  7. A catastrophe at hand,
    I know just what to do!
    Send CATS to be librarians
    For children--that's who!
    Now that will be something new
    for Los Angeloo!
    Oh, they never did that
    in Solla Sollew,
    No, they never had to,
    but, Martin, would you?

    --"If I Ran the Library" by Dr. Seuss