Sunday, July 8, 2012

"We're only a small library ..."

"We're only a small library". Worse excuse ever for cutting budgets and diverting staffing to non-library tasks (obviously NOT the case in this news story, but used elsewhere by someone else in the context of a school library).

And it becomes worse than mere dissemblance to then add " ... with little use" when no stats were referenced, nor even the most casual of observations made. Of course, it was a good thing actual figures weren't used ... because the statements would not have been consistent with the facts. Of course, this is in relation to just one particular case. Isn't it?

Mind you, as it has now been reported that our NSW Minister of Education announced on ABC Radio that government school principals will be free to dispense with credentialed school library staff altogether if, "for example if they'd rather have a speech therapist" it's pretty much a moot point anyway.


  1. And if there is little use it's highly likely because someone hasn't put in the work to promote the library services, or keep relevent stats, or use such tools to fight the closures. (yeah, I'm a little impatient with both sides, and yeah I know there's good people on both sides)

  2. Dear A.Nonymous ... It appears that I really didn't make the point very well, did I? What I have failed to adequately communicate is the fact that there are situations where 'the admin' attempts to convey to the powers that be that a library (NOT the one in the news item) doesn't get used much, as an excuse for not supporting the library programs with an appropriate budget or staffing level. However, in the particular case referenced above, 'the admin' was provided not only with detailed stats for the previous 4 years - showing a more than 10 fold increase in borrowing - but also graphs (bar, pie AND line) to graphically illustrate this. Not only the figures were supplied, but eye-witness accounts by school executive members who had been in the library at lunchtimes etc and eye-balled the above-capacity crowds.

    "Someone hasn't put the work in to promote the library services, or keep relevent stats"? Not this time, my friend. This was one case of just sheer bloodymindedness.

    Please do feel free to let me know if there are any other issues I've raised that I may not have made clear. Sometimes, when all I see is red, it's difficult to stay in the black and white world of text.