DC Public Libraries Facing Staff Cuts

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courtesy of ‘erin m’

DC’s Public Library system is facing the possibility of staff cuts due to continuing budget-tightening related to the economic downturn. Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper says that she doesn’t expect it to come to that, but if the DCPL operating budget is cut any further, staffing is the only item left to cut. Interestingly, the construction budget for the last two years was such that new library facilities are nearing completion, leading to a situation where a new libary may be ready to open but not have enough staff to run it.

What I found most interesting in the article, however, was the steps Cooper  has been taking to ensure that DCPL stays relevant as traditional lending of paper books and periodicals has been in decline. I know I’m a slacker and haven’t checked out my local library lately- how about you?

Tiffany Baxendell Bridge is an Internet enthusiast and an incurable smartass. When not heckling the neighborhood political scene on Twitter, she can be found goofing off with her ukulele, Bollywood dancing, or obsessing about cult TV. She is That Woman With the Baby In the Bar.

Tiffany lives in Brookland with her husband Tom, son Charlie, and two high-maintenance cats. Read why Tiffany loves DC.

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One thought on “DC Public Libraries Facing Staff Cuts

  1. “Just look at that list of all the things libraries do for our communities, all the ways they help the least among us, the vulnerable, the children, the elderly. Think of every wonderful thing that happened to you among the shelves of a library. Think of the millions of lifelong love-affairs with literacy sparked in the collections of those libraries. Think of every person whose life was forever changed for the better in those buildings.

    Think of the nobility of libraries and librarianship, the great scar that the Burning of Alexandria gouged in human history. Think of the archivists who barricaded themselves in the Hermitage during the Siege of Leningrad, slowly starving and freezing to death but refusing to desert their posts for fear that the collections they guarded would become firewood.

    Think of the librarians who took a stand during the darkest years of the PATRIOT Act and refused to turn over patron records. Think of the moral unimpeachability of those whose trade is universal access to all human knowledge.

    Picture an entire city, a modern, wealthy place, in the richest country in the world, in which the vital services provided by libraries are withdrawn due to political brinkmanship and an unwillingness to spare one banker’s bonus worth of tax-dollars to sustain an entire region’s connection with human culture and knowledge and community.

    Think of it and ask yourself what the hell has happened to us.”

    –From a boingboing.net article on the closing of the Philadelphia Free Library System.