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The Office of Communications at the Library of Congress announced that Mississippi Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey was named 19th US Poet Laureate. Trethwey will hold the positions concurrently. Poets.org has a profile posted of the new appointee. Huffington Post and the New York Times have more on the appointment as well.
That long list of Shorter University employees who are no longer employees on the north Georgia campus thanks to the gay witch hunt launched by President Donald Dowless? Add one.
Yep, the school sacked its off-campus librarian, 14-year tenured faculty member Michael Wilson. It’s not like he didn’t know it was coming. Last fall, the school \put in place a new Personal Lifestyle Statement that bans gay sex for faculty and staff, among a long list of other behaviors it argues aren’t in agreement with the Bible.
Wilson tried to compromise, striking out the portion mentioning homosexuality, offering up a note to Dowless (photo) and telling his story to the press. It didn’t work. The school axed him with a two-sentence letter on May 23 that implied he resigned by editing the contract.
During his 14 years at Shorter University, Michael Wilson, a librarian, built a library collection for the college’s satellite campus in Atlanta. He shaped his post as the first full-time librarian for adult and professional students. Then he won tenure, and planned to stay at the Baptist college in Rome, Ga., until retirement.
Instead, last week, he effectively handed in his resignation.
From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
The Philadelphia Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the nation's oldest book collection serving the visually impaired and one of only two in the commonwealth, is slated to be dramatically diminished this week, as services and the collection are slashed.
The plan calls for moving most reading materials to the smaller, less-used Pittsburgh branch; foolishly dumping half a million recorded cassettes; and halving the caring, veteran staff that helps disabled patrons in 29 counties. [ed: I heard about this plan while at PLA in Philadelphia in March; word has it that its the plan of Governor Tom Corbett, a native of Pittsburgh].
The merger makes absolutely no sense and will not save the commonwealth a cent, while providing slower, less efficient service to an already underserved population. Indeed, critics believe the merger will cost more money in unanticipated operating costs.
From CBC News: The federal government is eliminating a series of libraries and archives throughout different departments as part of the latest budget cuts.
Library and Archives Canada alone has received or will still receive more than 500 surplus notices and the department announced 20 per cent of its workforce would be let go.
The cuts to the government's archival collections stretch beyond just one department, though. Libraries at the transport, immigration and public works departments will be eliminated.
That is a scary prospect, according to researchers, genealogists and academics that often rely on such libraries and history to develop their work.
"Professionals and scientists who work in those departments need access to those specialized libraries to develop policy," said James Turk, president of the Canadian Association of University Professors.
"As well, other Canadians rely on those specialized libraries and there aren't other libraries that have those people and can make up for that."
Toronto librarians return to work;
after a ten-day walk-out, an agreement has been reached.
Members of CUPE Local 4948 had been on strike since March 19 and libraries were closed during that time. Members voted Thursday night to accept an offer from the city.
CUPE Local 4948 representatives said they were able to fight back all concessions on benefits, noting this is particularly important for the library's many part-time workers.
Video and story here.
All 98 branch libraries in Toronto are closed as negotiations have broken down between librarians and the city.
Toronto’s public libraries, one of the early areas of friction in Rob Ford’s drive to cut public spending, are now the scene of the first strike of the mayor’s 15-month-old administration.
The library walkout may not be the only labour disruption the city faces this month. The union that represents inside workers has scheduled a strike vote for Tuesday. City-run swimming pools, recreation centres, daycares and other municipal services could be affected as early as Saturday.
The library strike is the first since the amalgamation of the old Metro Toronto municipalities into a single city.
On his way to a meeting Sunday, the mayor was terse in comments to reporters about either labour development, saying only that he hoped for a settlement.
Mr. Ford was able last month to clinch a deal, that included a rollback on some job-security provisions, from the city’s outside workers. They were not in a position to command much public sympathy so soon after an unpopular 2009 strike that affected garbage pickups and parks maintenance. -- Read More
Library Workers request No Board report to spur negotiations
The Toronto Public Library (TPL) Workers Union (CUPE Local 4948) has requested the Ministry of Labour issue a "no board" report on its contract negotiations with the Toronto Public Library Board.
Maureen O'Reilly, President of Local 4948, said the union made the no board request because negotiations had reached an impasse. Despite the presence of a conciliator, the employer has not shown any interest in substantive negotiations leading to a collective agreement that would ensure stability and protect the library services Toronto residents depend on. "It's our members who deliver those services. And our members value the services they deliver just as much as the public does," said O'Reilly. "But it's also our members being cut from budgets, and now the Library Board is seeking massive concessions from their contract.
Occupy Lamont’s rhetoric distracts from the issue of layoffs
"Again, we welcome Occupy Lamont to go about their business. But a discussion of the kind that they claim to be interested in having ought not distract from the issue at hand. As a community, we do not need to re-imagine the fundamental properties of the library. There is no impetus to do so, and Harvard’s librarians, led by University Librarian Robert C. Darnton ’60, have been working not only on modernizing our system but also making Harvard’s material accessible for free online. Occupy Lamont distracts and potentially impinges on this real progress, and stands in the way of a frank discussion about layoffs."
Remember Desiree Goodwin who sued Harvard Library and lost? She's still at Harvard and still looking for better working conditions (for the pretty?); here's her note:
I just signed the petition "HUCTW Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers, Bill Jaeger: Stand Up for Workers' Rights!" and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.
Our goal is to reach 100 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here: