Volume 7, No. 3 • March 2010



  • Outplacement Firms—What They Offer in the Event of a Layoff

    Layoffs have always been a fact of working life, and the current recession means more, not fewer, employees are being let go. Some employers hire outplacement firms to help departing employees and human resources staff handle the fallout. But do you really know what these firms offer? Are their services worthwhile—either for employer or employee?

    Traditionally, the outplacement firm gives the laid-off employee an office to go in the morning; the use of a desk, telephone, and … Read the rest


  • 4 library branches may close

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library officials say county budget cuts might force the system to close at least four branches in the coming months, while reducing hours at others.

    Library officials haven’t determined which branches could close, but said any affected branch likely would remain shut down into the next budget year as well. Branches could close on Sundays and be open for fewer hours the rest of the week.

    The library system … Read the rest

  • Cutbacks hurt Storrs (MA) Library

    The Longmeadow (MA) library will lose funding and staff in fiscal 2011 budget. Currently the library faces the loss of the equivalent of two full-time employees due to attrition and layoffs.

    At their meeting March 1, the Select Board approved a 10 percent reduction in cuts, less than the initial 15 percent they asked department heads to work with. They also agreed to keep the Storrs Library open 50 hours … Read the rest

  • With cuts ahead, Menino talks of ‘transformation’

    The Boston Public Library faces a $3.6 million budget shortfall, and administrators have proposed closing eight to 10 branches and laying off nearly a quarter of its staff. Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has proposed to close branch libraries and to cut costs and reshape how Boston serves its citizens in the neighborhoods.

    In a speech to the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, Menino urged people think about transforming the nation’s oldest … Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • Wikipedia: Angel or Demon? Observation on a Condemned Resource

    Halos or horns? The lines in the Inquisition over almighty Wikipedia’s place in academic research could not be more clearly drawn. Purists hold that a wiki-based information database, updatable by anyone with Internet access, is not worth the bandwidth on which it is published. Apologists argue that the ever-updating nature of instantaneous information retrieval is an integral part of the ongoing Information Revolution. This information disciple, however, seeks an academically agnostic path.

    It is true that … Read the rest


  • Recognizing Value, Encouraging Growth:

    Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) Program Welcomes Candidate Applications

    The American Library Association’s Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) is accepting applications from potential candidates interested in achieving Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC). The LSSC Program is the first national, voluntary certification program for library support staff. Over forty candidates have applied since the program opened January 25, 2010.

    Why are library support staff across the country applying for LSSC candidacy?

    • Eva Fiffie is excited that the LSSC program “will give me
    Read the rest

HR Practice

  • Motivating the Front Line

    (Editor’s note: Looking for a way to publicly honor library employees? Nominate “Star” library workers to the National Library Workers’ Day web site.)

    Evolving technology and trends toward user self-service activities have changed the library patron’s experience. But most librarians are quick to point out that, despite these changes, libraries (and their users) still require front-line human interaction provided by circulation, or access services, employees. Front-line employees are the library’s foremost representatives: whether librarians, paraprofessionals, temporary … Read the rest


  • ACRL/DVC Stipend Available For Future Academic Librarian

    The Delaware Valley Chapter of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL/DVC) announces the availability of a stipend of up to $1,000, for a future academic librarian. Library school students living or working in the chapter’s service area (eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware) and who are currently enrolled in an ALA-accredited program, including distance education programs, are invited to apply.

    Criteria for the award are:

    1. Applicant must be a full-time or part-time student at the Master’s level; and
    2. Applicant must
    Read the rest


  • Compensation Planning for 2010

    Reprinted with permission from the Management Association of Illinois’s Web site, www.hrsource.org. The article was posted December 2009.

    [Editor’s note:  Results from the 2010 ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian—Public and Academic will be reported in the fall about compensation and reward strategies used in the nation’s libraries.]

    Having trimmed workforces and decreased employee work hours, many organizations continue to struggle with cost containment challenges. The economy is forcing organizations to examine their compensation … Read the rest



  • Does Workplace Inflexibility Cost Libraries?

    Workplace flexibility is hardly a new concept. The idea of the flexible work environment has been around for decades in some form or another (Sladek and Hollander, 2009). Studies show that workers who have say in where and when they work are happier, healthier, more committed to their jobs and their employers. They also produce a higher quality of work (Walter, 2010). The benefits to flexibility in the workplace are significant and apply to both employer … Read the rest