Sometimes it feels as if you are working in a bubble, not being recognised for the work you do and generally feeling under-appreciated.**
And when you do get attention, it’s for all the wrong reasons. Yes Virginia, we do have unfiltered access to the Internet in most public libraries, but that does not mean it’s a p*rn free-for-all. Try telling that to the local paper or Herald Sun…
However, in the midst of libraries closing or drastically reducing their services in the US and UK, it is heartening to read articles in The Guardian, or hearing of grassroots activism from teens to support libraries.
Closer to home, my local paper has also come out in support of our local library.
Through libraries we access history, the arts, culture, literature and current affairs.
If we now live in the information age, then libraries are an integral part of that.
And all this is provided at no direct cost to us. You don’t pay anything to join.
Libraries welcome people of all demographic levels. It almost seems miraculous.
And library staff are one of the last bastions of genuine helpfulness.
A good librarian is a good thing indeed, a font of local and general knowledge.
This is in response to 19 administration and mobile library staff in employment limbo as the councils which form the Central Highlands Regional Library Corporation decide on whether to manage their own library service or have the Ballarat City Council manage it on their behalf. This was the first time staff had spoken on this matter, as much of the media attention had been directed at the councils and the councillors themselves.
It is touching reading the comments from readers, who come out very supportive of the staff.
Last week Michelle on Connecting Librarian asked the question
Do our communities feel the ownership enough to fight for us, if we were threatened with the same closures?
I would have to say they would.
*Quote from Sally Field as part of her acceptance speech for her Oscar for Best Actress in 1985 for Places in the Heart.
**Of course this could also apply to being a parent, but I’m not opening that can of worms tonight.