Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Punching the kids in the stomach

I've been lax in my reporting on the continued PPL fund-scrabbling. There isn't enough money to do what needs to be done, so here's the plan: eliminate the children's specialists in March. It's brilliant, really. I mean, which patrons are least likely to make the city and library feel their wrath? How bout school children? Sweet.

Apparently, the municipal library services board (without any power) was set up last year, and they've created this letter that people can sign and send to the mayor expressing their disapproval. You can pick up a copy of the letter at most branches (I think). Here are the facts in case anyone wants to pen his or her own:

At the 3 large branches, childrens services are offered by a children's librarian and a children's specialist (someone with loads of experience but no masters degree) , but at each of the 6 small branches, there is no separate children's librarian. There is one adult librarian and one children's specialist.

But after March, there will be just an adult librarian and a clerk working the circulation desk. Not only is that level of staffing (2 people!) ludicrous, but it precludes children's programming which requires the attention of the librarian.

The letter that the board has created points out that
  • only $100,000 are required to continue the specialist's positions to the end of the year.
  • PPL can't effectively fundraise, because people won't give their money unless they know it will go to the branches--not just some general fund.
  • the Mayor agreed "to serve as an honorary chair of a fund-raising appeal for the branches" last summer.
  • now is the time to raise funds!
If you would like to make a similar point to the Mayor, his address is

City Hall
25 Dorrance St.
Providence, RI

1 comment:

Amy Barlow said...

Although it's a vague idea at the moment, I think your case could be made very strong with some kind of visual display of information for the mayor and for fundraising.

A map with layers of information and data....