I have been working on what librarians do best.  Research.  We have two people (George and Joan) coming to facilitate our librarian “forum” in two weeks and I wanted to know more about them.  It is pretty much what you’d expect from two long time administrators that haven’t been on a reference desk for 20+ years.  They are definitely library advocates, but they are part of the “budget cuts are a great time for big changes” school.  They don’t out and out say that librarians are outmoded, but what I have heard so far, they don’t make any statements about what librarians bring to the library.

Like that we are the ones that develop and test the programs they are going to continue without us.  That we can find the information you are looking for, even if you don’t know for sure what it is when you come to us.  As libraries crowd out librarians, patrons will get less of what they want, but they might not even know it.  Eventually the library won’t be known for the place to get answers, it will just be a place to pick up your materials and use wifi, which will edge out the young and the poor.  Seattle will no longer be known for its smart population, its excellence in literacy.  I won’t go so far to say that our poor will drop into wrack and ruin, but lower test scores for under-served populations and all that means for their future…that I will predict.  There is a direct correlation between summer reading programs and maintaining literacy levels into the next school year.

I hate the fact that I am developing an advisory board for someone else now.  But I have to make the best of it.  This is great experience and I have a lot of support from my manager and former managers.  I will have great references when I am looking for a job.  My biggest question is whether I would take one of those clerk positions when the lay-offs come.  According to our contract they have to allow a laid off person to take the lowest level of whatever other position they qualify for (I think I got that right). I would have a really hard time doing the LAIV job, basically my job, for much less pay, but not being able to do real reference or readers advisory.  How do you explain to a patron, “well, I could help you, but I am not supposed to.  Let me call someone who is allowed to.” ???

On a lighter note, The Mister is coming home today!  I am meeting him at the airport at around 6 and we are going to go to Georgetown on the way home.  I know it has only been a week, but I have missed him.  I also have the week off, partially to spend time with him, and partially to help with my sister’s wedding.  She gets married on Saturday :)  I am so happy for her.

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