Wealthy Virginia Suburbs Poised to Cut Library Services

From the Falls Church, VA News Press: Mark September 11, 2013 on your calendars. That is the date the Fairfax County Public Libraries (FCPL) Board of Trustees will meet and vote on the FCPL Administration’s “BETA Project” to “streamline” services at all county libraries. If approved the “BETA Project” is scheduled to go into effect initially at Reston Regional Library, the system’s largest, and Burke Centre Community Library. The changes include, but are not limited to:

• Drastically reducing the number of staff available to serve library patrons

• Eliminating the requirement for ANY staff member to have a Masters of Library Science (MLS) Degree

• Eliminating children/youth services librarians

Reduction in Staff– At Reston, the model for regional libraries like Tysons-Pimmit, the staff will be reduced from 20.5 to 13.5 positions and at Burke Centre, the model for community libraries like Thomas Jefferson, it will be reduced from 9.5 to 7 positions.

Elimination of MLS– Not only will the staff be reduced, but so will their pay grades and salaries. FCPL will be the only library system in the regional consortium of libraries not requiring any staff member to have an MLS. Librarian positions will no longer exist, because under Virginia law, librarians must have an MLS/advanced certification for any political subdivision with a population of at least 15,000.

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Re: pay cuts and elimination of MLS

ridiculous, an outrage, and a disservice to themselves and their constituents. I guess if you'd rather isolate yourself in your home with reality television and yahoo answers than receive quality information, then this is the right decision.

Pew Research Center findings

Obviously this Board never read the Pew Research Center report that found 80% of the people who participated in their research and were younger than 30 (Younger American's Library Habits and Expectations, June 25, 2013) said "it is very important to have librarians available to help people find the information they need".

I put my head in my hands every single time something like this crops up...and it crops up, and crops up. As the song goes..."when will they ever learn?

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