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Reallocation of work

December 12, 2008

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you may have read about changes at the Allen County Public Libary.  Specifically, we are undergoing budget cuts of approximately $1.5 million because of a new property tax cap in Indiana.  Our budget is funded mostly by property taxes, so we are finding ways to cut costs. One of the ways we are doing this is by reducing staff through attrition.  This means that if someone resigns from a position, it is re-evaluated to determine whether it will be refilled.  Also, senior management have been evaluating the positions of people working in support, including my own position as Technology Librarian.

After careful consideration by our senior staff, it was decided that 20% of my work hours would be reallocated to front-line work at our Dupont Branch Library.  While most people would think that this is simply awful or unfortunate or whatever, it really isn’t.  Working eight hours a week at the Dupont Branch will be mutually beneficial for the branch and for myself, for a number of reasons:

  • Dupont is ACPL’s largest and busiest branch.  It is an understatement to say they could use the extra help.
  • IT Services uses Dupont as a test bed for new services and software.  I can serve as a useful communication conduit between the two.
  • The Dupont Branch is close to IT Services’ building–I can run to my office on the way there or back at the end of the day.
  • I will have the opportunity to work on the front lines where staff and patrons are using almost every technology piece we maintain each day at IT Services.
  • I will be serving patrons directly, getting their feedback on how they like our products.
  • I will get some new experience doing reference work.  I’ve been out of this for ten months and I’m afraid of losing my skills!
  • I get to be resident geek.
  • I will be better in touch with what our patrons are reading.  This will come in handy for working with Book Talk, our newest reader’s advisory service.

So, I’m adopting a positive attitude about this change.  We have to do that.  I’m grateful to our senior staff for the care they have taken to keep us working.  No one has been laid off, and there are no plans to do so.  And we will continue to offer great library service, despite the challenges we face!

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