Here’s something I don’t get about administrator-think. When budgets are tight, they often look for ways to shrink budgets without cutting services.
But really, we should cut services.
If the taxpayers are paying less, they should get less.
Libraries need funding in order to provide all the wonderful things we do. If we try to make the loss of funding painless for patrons, then it looks like the lower amount is all that we need. It puts us in a downward spiral of trying to do more with less, and ultimately providing poor service, and looking like we don’t know what we’re doing.
In order to advocate for libraries, we need to do our jobs well. We need to create satisfied patrons. There’s more to advocacy than just that of course, but the foundation of an argument for libraries is a valuable, valued service. We need enough money and enough staff to make that happen.
It seems likely to me that the slow attrition of library jobs is a result of this desire to not cut services.
Please note that if there are efficiencies that can be found that would save the system money,we shouldn’t need to wait for a budget crisis to find them. We should enact them. We should respect taxpayers enough to give them full value for the dollar.
We should respect taxpayers enough to be transparent about what they get for their money.