Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Libraries are still facing tough times - since the Internet came up, I think libraries have faced tough times each year, bucking the perception by those that make budgetary decisions that information is just floating around, free for the taking. Now the "bad economy" is the underlying reason for cutting library budgets. (I didn't really see a great increase in budgets when it was a "good economy", though.)
Two recent stories define the latest "tough times":
1) Don't Rip Up Your Library Card Just Yet, by Jeff Ackerman, in Grass Valley, CA's The Union:
I like a quote in this editorial: "Jails never need to have bake sales to raise money."

2)I just learned that the librarian in the Rapid City Regional Hospital in South Dakota is being 'let go', and asked to create an unmanned digital library before they leave. The librarian is one of the hardest working librarians that I have ever met - taking on new and varied jobs within the health care center; promoting the specific time-saving and patient care-improving information services; eagerly seeking professional education opportunities to keep up with the changing library environment; and delivering on promises made. This health care center example joins the Wall Street Journal and EPA libraries example in causing chills for any librarian anywhere: it doesn't matter how good you are, or how hard you work to be all you can be to the team - city administration, college administration, hospital administration - your library or your position can be eliminated. 

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