There is such a breadth and depth of knowledge within the library support staff that could easily be used to make the new Harvard Library a reality and a rousing success without cutting a single job. We are already at bare-bones staffing level in my library, and I hear the same thing from everyone I talk to. Don’t fire us. You need us. Put us to work, give us new tasks, new ideas, new technology — we are knowledge junkies, we love drowning ourselves in books, media, anything containing the written or spoken word, and we can do anything you throw at us, in more languages than you even knew existed, better than you. Or anyone you might hire to take our place. We know the collections. We can change the old library into the new Library while maintaining complete intellectual and physical access to the material. I have learned, quickly and efficiently, dozens of new databases, new rules, new computer systems, new search methods and new technologies in my almost 20 years at Harvard not only because I have to, but because I enjoy learning. For its own sake. That’s what makes a librarian (or in my case, library paraprofessional) tick. That’s what I love. And I’m not alone, not by a long shot. Everyone I work with shares the same passion.
What should have been a warm ‘n’ fuzzy cleanup of the abandoned Hyde Park Library in South L.A. this morning went awry when responding LAPD officers reportedly mistook the Youth Justice Coalition for a faction of Occupy L.A.
The former library site is under the supervision of the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, that elusive city department responsible for fixing up blighted areas with local property taxes — yet notorious for favoring fancy high-rises and billionaires’ parking garages instead. Could explain the longtime neglect of this dilapidated eyesore. And god forbid some fed-up kids try to do CRA officials’ job for them!