I'm a qualified librarian

Books It's late, I'm tired, but this article at The Guardian recording the decimation of the library service in Doncaster just filled me with rage, not least because I'm a qualified librarian:
"Doncaster's libraries have provided extremely limited services for years: the number of qualified librarians has dropped from 26 to two; there is no head of libraries; and the "customer service managers" who run libraries do not appreciate the need for professional staff to run a service that offers far more than just books."
Their website lists twenty-eight libraries in the service which means that effectively, the qualifieds must to some degree be carrying out the same duties as the head of libraries on a much lower rate of pay and a far higher stress levels since they're no doubt doing staff training too (because otherwise I can't imagine how such things as purchasing and cataloguing would otherwise be carried out).

Save Doncaster Libraries and the librarians who are left from losing their sanity.

Update! 19/08/2010 I contacted Lauren Smith, who wrote the article and is a co-ordinator of the save Doncaster libraries campaign, seeking clarification on how the two qualified librarians fit within the organisational structure. She sent the following which she's agreed to let me reproduce. It's actually worse than I thought:
Hi Stuart,

That's not quite the situation. I'll try to explain and hope it makes sense!

There are only two qualified librarians working in Doncaster libraries, both of whom work in bibliographic services, which is the department that deals with stock acquisition, rotation, etc. There used to be librarians who worked with children, vulnerable groups, did outreach, publicised libraries – 5 years ago there were about 26. There were cuts and more cuts and librarians were made redundant.

There's no head of libraries and there hasn't been for over 5 years. The libraries are managed alongside customer services by people who don't know much about libraries and what they're there for.

There's nothing by way of staff training. The two librarians who know how to buy books and stuff do that for all the libraries in a central unit. The staff working in libraries are either unqualified library assistants or reserve staff. There is no training at all, which means customer service can be very hit and miss and can put people off forever.

Hope that helps.

Lauren
In a follow-up message Lauren added: "Basically, they deskilled the service a long time ago. Now they're trying to get rid of the service completely."

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