Friday, May 15, 2020

Libraries Gave Us Power: Library workers push back against resiliancy narratives amid pandemic

An important article up on the new blog Libraries Gave Us Power by one of the founders of the #closethelibraries and #protectlibraryworkers movements pushes back against the popular media narrative that all is well in public libraries as boards and management push workers to take on dangerous and unnecessary work in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It should go without saying, but libraries should absolutely not be putting their workers on the front lines of this public health crisis unnecessarily. As the above piece points out, library workers know all too well how dealing with the public means dealing with people who will not follow directions, people who intentionally cause problems, and people who get very angry over things beyond the individual worker's control.

Libraries have been used for a long time as a safety net of last resort by a system that has failed ordinary people, library workers -- particularly underpaid front line staff -- should not be offered up as sacrificial lambs because of this system's failures.

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