What's New

Library gala in clean but empty second floor

An ArtVoice article by former employee Peter Scheck points out the irony of holding an elite library fundraising event in the now publicly inaccessible, but particularly well-polished, second floor. (Remaining staff had been prohibited from walking across the newly cleaned floor for several weeks, making it difficult if not impossible to reach work areas that held new books waiting to be processed. Apparently, that was not a main concern for organizers. Who cares about getting new books out to patrons anyway.)

About these ads

About Librarians Association

We are the librarians of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library and an affiliate of NYSUT.

Discussion

5 thoughts on “Library gala in clean but empty second floor

  1. This is inaccurate –

    (Remaining staff had been prohibited from walking across the newly cleaned floor for several weeks, making it difficult if not impossible to reach work areas that held new books waiting to be processed. Apparently, that was not a main concern for organizers. Who cares about getting new books out to patrons anyway.)

    Staff ALWAYS had access to their work area – The floor was done in sections so staff always had a dry area to walk across. They also could use the back stairs without crossing the floor to enter their work area. Because book trucks could not be pushed across the floor, an alternate space to process the new books was created. Getting new materials out to patrons was never compromised and always a priority.

    Posted by Meg | October 14, 2011, 10:50 am
  2. Meg (a library manager/administrator attempting to do damage control) – Read the post more carefully it says: “making it difficult if not impossible.” As you acknowledge, books trucks were not allowed to be pushed across the floor, something that would need to be done in order to transport the often significant amount of books for processing. And the alternate space was not created in a timely way, it was done, as usual, in an after the fact, ad hoc way. Staff DID NOT even know where their materials were for days. Clearly, the priority was NOT on keeping the books flowing to patrons and certainly not on communicating with staff but on the newly precious floor and its appearance to gala attendees. This, unfortunately, has become the norm at the BECPL. But, perhaps it can change. A good start would be managers like yourself taking some responsibility for the mess, apologizing, start treating employees like human beings, and think ahead, talk to the folks actually doing the work instead of making last minute decision from on high wihtout understanding the consequences for work flow and morale.

    Posted by john | October 14, 2011, 11:28 am
  3. Another issue here is cleanliness. As work a day staff is cut, remaining cleaners are spread thin. Central is at all time level of filthiness! Dust bunnies will probably take over horror movie style. The same can be said for the city branches. Low morale makes it even harder to motivate remaining staff.

    Posted by Ann Anymity | November 9, 2011, 6:50 am
    • I forgot to mention irony–they can get an empty 2nd floor all spiffed up for money bags who never set foot in the library (inc. the soon to be former County Executive who a) expresses his disdain for libraries and b) proudly admits he doesn’t use them)! Furthermore, the choice of entertainment offers another ironic twist. The Colored Musicians Club–excellent musicians no doubt, but I wonder how many people of color were at this event as seated guests rather than entertainers?

      Posted by Ann Anymity | November 9, 2011, 6:54 am
      • Yes Anne, it does also seem ironic to many of the employees that so much single-minded effort was devoted to this rare affair, for those well-heeled enough to attend, when the buildings, bathrooms, staffing levels for the public in general are normally maintained at decidedly more minimal levels. It would be interesting to get a true accounting of the amount spent on cleaning, processing donations, paying for food, entertainment, staff time, etc. versus the amount brought in by attendees that will benefit the community and library users. It would be nice if some of this money and energy was spent on working with and improving staffing.

        Posted by Librarians Association | November 9, 2011, 11:52 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: