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Library Layoffs May Hit Brooklynology.

Jun 9, 2010 10:15 AM | 0 comments

Many of you may know that New York City's three library systems are currently under threat of crippling budget cuts--so crippling, in fact, that about a third of the library's workforce received provisional pink slips last week, pending the finalization of budget negotiations.  Three of the Brooklyn Collection's staff are under the gun, and two of them -- Olivia and Ben--are Brooklynology bloggers. So here today are three of the actual faces of the budget cuts.  They represent 50% of the Collection's librarian staff and 33% of our overall staff.

Olivia, who has two masters degrees, is the Brooklyn Collection's archivist. She has total control of every scrap of paper, every piece of realia, every nugget of ephemera in the collection. She organizes and charms our volunteers and interns. She oversees our photograph ordering operation, ensures that our photograph collection makes its way into the library's catalog in an accurate and orderly fashion and has served with distinction on the library's web steering committee. She also initiated the Collection's participation in the Veteran's History Project. Before coming to the Brooklyn Collection Olivia worked for our Department of Services to the Aging.

She was recently married on top of the Empire State Building, and when not causing our manuscripts and archives to be arranged and described, she enjoys cooking and eating fine food, although you would never know it to look at her.  Olivia has worked for Brooklyn Public Library since 2005 and is a highly valued, hardworking and creative member of the Brooklyn Collection's staff.

Ben, our newest librarian, joined the Brooklyn Collection earlier this year.  He quickly learned the collection and has taken over much of the ordering of new materials. When not serving library patrons or causing riotous amusement among his colleagues Ben writes witty blog posts for Brooklynology. A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and Queens College, CUNY, he is also an artist whose first solo show is opening this week

Lauren helps to keep us organized and fulfills our departmental obligations at the circulation desk. She has also been working for a couple of years on a mammoth project to refolder and relabel every file of photographs in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle morgue. Lauren is about to complete her Bachelor's degree at City College CUNY, where she also worked as an intern for a project called Midnight Hope which provides food to the homeless.

These are just three out of hundreds of career librarians and clerical staff across the city who may well find themselves without a job after August 31st unless library funding is restored. Without them, the Brooklyn Collection will be unable to maintain our current high level of services--including in-depth reference, programs, collection development, digitization, education and more. If you have enjoyed reading Brooklynology, or if you are a patron of the Brooklyn Collection and of BPL in general, please contact elected officials to protest cuts to library services.  Our excellent staff didn't arrive here by accident. Let's do everything we can to keep them. 

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