Saturday, September 4, 2010
Library Urban Legend in the Making?
Link to Randy Cohen's September 4 "On Ethics" Charlotte Observer column, "Surge of volunteers for library prompts staff cuts".
Excerpt: Q: Community members have responded to our town's tight budget by volunteering at the library, so much so that the library laid off several full-time employees, people who are our friends and neighbors. Having fewer municipal employees means a slight reduction in property taxes for everyone, but it harms those left jobless. Should town residents consider that before volunteering?
Two things come to mind immediately.
You'd think that Randy Cohen would have checked with the Charlotte Mecklenburg administration to verify the writer's comments. (Please say it ain't so, Charles Brown.)
And secondly, you'd think Randy would read the paper in which his column appears.
From 8/31/2010 Charlotte Observer article, "Library pilot program that expands hours to launch early".
The library system already has a long history of using volunteers to help out. Last year, volunteers worked 25,000 hours at various branches. The goal this year is to double that.
The pilot effort, which was supposed to start Oct. 1, is focused on the towns that gave money or in-kind services this year to the library system. In exchange, the system agreed to experiment with expanding hours at the towns' branches with volunteers.
In those cases, volunteers will handle behind-the-scenes chores, enabling library staff to use more time for helping patrons, including homework assistance and children's programs.
And more time to recruit, interview, train, supervise, and evaluate the increased number of volunteers the library uses. Whatever duties assigned to volunteers needs to be regularly monitored by "trained professionals".
Library launches pilot program to expand hours with volunteers. (8/31/2010)
Group to study county library merger. (7/28/2010)
Book stores help out the library. (7/21/2010)
Libraries hope to expand hours with volunteers at 4 branches. (7/20/2010)
Another change in hours. (7/18/2010)
Matthews branch library sends out plea for volunteers. (7/13/2010)
Most county commissioners cool to sales tax hike. (7/9/2010)
New hours in effect. (7/6/2010)
Charlotte Observer editorial board laments the passing of the Novello Festival of the Book. (6/28/2010)
Shuttered branch could become Friends' used book store. (6/25/2010)
A reduced future. (6/23/2010)
Interlocal cooperation pact. (6/22/2010)
Three branches close. (6/19/2010)
Town of Mint Hill perspective. (6/18/2010)
Five towns tentatively OK $730,000 for libraries. (6/18/2010)
Carmel, two other branches to close. (6/16/2010)
Now that the ax has fallen. (6/16/2010)
Commissioners to vote on budget today. (6/15/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries: It's complicated. (6/9/2010)
Mayor wins straw vote at emotional council meeting. (6/7/2010)
Editorial: Should city 'stay in its lane' on libraries. (6/4/2010)
County commissioners restore some cuts to libraries. (6/4/2010)
Straw votes begin on Mecklinburg County budget. (6/3/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries continue to look for one-time financial help. (5/31/2010)
High school junior speaks out eloquently for libraries. (5/30/2010)
Mayor Foxx on the art of governing. (5/30/2010)
Mayor supports financial help for library. (5/27/2010)
County budget: Oh, yeah, this is fair. (5/25/2010)
Bailout proposal not gaining traction. (5/23/2010)
Library trustees vote to close 4 branches. (5/20/2010)
Mecklenburg County tightens its belt. (5/20/2010)
County manager cuts $14.7 million from library budget. (5/18/2010)
2010-11 Mecklenburg County budget to be unveiled today. (5/18/2010)
North Carolina woman plans on "going straight to the top" to keep Charlotte libraries open. (5/16/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg officials ask local municipalities for $3 million contribution. (4/30/2010Library Board chair speaks out. (4/25/2010)
County commissioners seek ways to ease library cuts. (4/23/2010)
Mecklenburg County needs to reduce $85-90 million deficit. (4/16/2010)
County manager takes library board to task. (4/10/2010)
Libraries now open fewer hours. (4/6/2010)
"Save Our Libraries Sunday". (3/29/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg users owe average of 55 cents in fines. (3/27/2010)
Library announces new hours for branches. (3/26/2010)
Library Board applies a Band-Aid to its bleeding system. (3/25/2010)
Follow-up on Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board vote. (3/25/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board votes to keep all branches open. (3/24/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board presented with 2 budget-cutting alternatives. (3/24/2010)
More and bigger cuts looming on horizon. (3/23/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System Rethinks Closings. (3/22/2010)
A New Day is Dawning in Charlotte/Mecklenburg County. (3/21/2010)