Sunday, March 26, 2017

Library workers stage hunger strike in Bangladesh

The Bangladesh Association of Librarians, Information Scientists and Documentalists (BALID) and Bangladesh Assistant Librarians Association staged a one-day hunger strike in support of their demands that job titles be changed.

Historic photos of AFSCME librarians

Old photos and a radio interview from the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs of AFSCME-represented librarians:

"Librarian Carol Fortman checks in resources for blind library patrons such as audio recordings and braille books. She was a member of AFSCME Local 426, Milwaukee Public Library & Museum Employees."

10-year Contract Delayed in Decatur by City Council

In February, the board of Decatur Public Library approved a 10-year contract reached with its AFSCME local, but final approval has been delayed by City Council members who question the unusual length of the agreement.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The more states approve so-called right-to-work laws, the worse conditions will become for U.S. workers.

Even without a national right-to-work law, Republicans will no doubt continue to attack unions at the state level. Presently, 28 states have right-to-work laws, and the more that number increases, the worse conditions will become for U.S. workers.   

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

East Side Freedom Library is winner of 2017 John Sessions Memorial Award.


The East Side Freedom Library(link is external) has been selected as the 2017 winner of the John Sessions Memorial Award.
The award, sponsored by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO(link is external), recognizes a library or library system which has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and by doing so has brought recognition to the history and contributions of the labor movement to the development of the United States.
The mission of the East Side Freedom Library is “to inspire solidarity, advocate for justice, and work toward equity for all.” As an independent library located in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood of St. Paul, Minn., the ESFL has successfully built relationships with organized labor and community groups that facilitate the empowerment, learning, and engagement of working people.
Since the library was established in 2013, co-founders Peter Rachleff and Beth Cleary have secured a permanent home in a former Carnegie Library, built a collection of 15,000 items, and hosted more than one hundred programs and 6,000 visitors.
Multiple letters from local and regional labor unions glowingly attest to the Library’s leadership in raising awareness of the centrality of workers, immigrants, and the labor movement to the past, present and future of the East Side, Twin Cities, and Minnesota, as well as being a “valuable resource and reliable ally,” “a place where diverse audiences assemble, hold conversations, and explore shared concerns,” “an important extension of the local labor movement,” and repeatedly, a “partner.”
The John Sessions Memorial Award committee includes: Aliqae Geraci (Chair), Hilary Meg Albert, and Phebe L. Dickson.
The East Side Freedom Library will be honored with a plaque at the RUSA Achievement Awards ceremony at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The ceremony will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 25. All conference attendees are invited to the event. Additional event details will be available on the conference website(link is external) in April.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

“Berkeley Librarian Whistleblower Day.”

Staffers at Berkeley Library describe atmosphere of discomfort and distrust

Over the past 18 months, the library administration, they said, has questioned the actions of some of the staff, particularly those who have been vocal about recent library policies. Seven staff members have been subjected to an amorphous investigation on “potential misconduct” that has gone on so long the ACLU has lodged a formal complaint. Some staff members were told they were “insubordinate,” may have “violated” library policies and could be fired, according to half a dozen employees who asked not to be identified because they fear for their jobs...

The result is an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in many departments, particularly at the Central Branch. The employee union, SEIU Local 1021, has filed numerous grievances, many against one manager. One employee was fired and then rehired after he threatened to file a wrongful termination suit. A number of employees have left as a result of the work atmosphere, according to multiple interviews with library staff.

Yet even the Berkeley City Council has recognized the challenges faced by some library staffers. On Feb. 28, on the recommendation of City Councilman Kriss Worthington, Mayor Jesse ArreguĂ­n issued a proclamation declaring that day “Berkeley Librarian Whistleblower Day.” 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

John E. Fogarty-Bricklayer & LSA

RI Congressman John E Fogarty.jpg
Congressman Fogarty, a former Pres. of the Bricklayer's Union, worked with Senator Lister Hill to establish the Library Services Act (1956). 

Healey, J.S. (1974). John E. Fogarty: political leadership for library development.  Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1974.