Monday, May 5, 2014

We wanted to highlight this statement made to the City Council by our very own Vi Ha at the City Council Budget Hearings last Tuesday, April 29th.
"Good afternoon Councilmembers.
My name is Vi Ha and I am the Young Adult Librarian at the Central Library.
I live in [Council District] 1. 
What differentiates a good city from a great city is infrastructure and the role of city government is to maintain infrastructure. 
The voters of Los Angeles approved Measure L to restore Library services. Our hours have been restored, but our staffing has not been.
Libraries are considered a core service and we are expected to have professional service, but we are struggling. 
Managed hiring prevents us from adding new people what is clearly expected from us as mandated from Measure L, to maintain our services.
As a teen librarian at the Central Library, I work directly with teenagers. I teach classes, lead tours, create activities that encourage teens to be future active citizens for the City. I've had to cancel these activities because of staffing shortages.
Do our services matter? We need new staff to continue our services. City Councilmembers, you need to maintain our infrastructure."
-Vi Ha, Librarian, Teen'Scape and Chief Rank and File Steward

If you want to make your own statement to City Council keep an eye on your Guild emails!  We will also be putting a post up with some basic information about how to get to City Hall and how to ask for Furlough time to do it! 

We support Dolores Spears and so should you!!!!

Dolores Spears is the Business Representative for the Librarian's Guild from AFSCME Council 36. 
She is running to become the At-Large Representative in the United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council and we can't think of anyone better to represent the homeowners of her district!  

She also makes sure to represent the city workers to her residents.  We need union advocates in all areas of our city government and Dolores is one such person.  

We hope you will support her as we do!

The election is SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2014 from 10am-4pm
Vote at the Council District 10 Field Office
1819 S. Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Dolores is Running in Council District 10.  Her flyer states:
"Eligible Voters: You must be at least 14 years or older and who live, work, own property or participate in the UNNC Community, and affirm a factual basis for it.  UNNC Borders: Between the south side of Pico Bl., north side of Rodeo, east side of Crenshaw and the west side of Normandie.  Moving inward to Western at the 10 freeway, then to Arlington at Jefferson, following the eastern boundry [sic] of Council District 10."
So unfortunately, due to some technical difficulties we are unable to attach Dolores' campaign flyer or the white paper she references in this message to the guild, but we will send them out to our members in an email. 
Some important information from her flyer in the meantime...
Dolores Spears is running to become
Dolores is...
20 Year Resident of Jefferson Park
Appointed to UNNC Board in 2012
UNNC Outreach Chairperson
Strong supporter of Block Club Activities
Moved UNNC Motion Opposing Murphy Oil Fracking
Opposed New Liquor Licensing in Jefferson Park
Strong Supporter of CD 10 Movies in the Park and Holiday Events
Assisted in organizing and supported the Holiday Toy Giveaway in Leslie Shaw Park that was given to over 500 children

The statement she sent to the guild follows...
"Hi everyone,
Attached is my candidate flyer, the Election is Saturday, May 10.  I was appointed to the Board in 2012 to fill an unexpired seat and now have to run for election. One does not have to be a registered voter, to be eligible to vote, one must be 14 years of age and older, live, work, worship, go to school, own property or conduct business on a regular basis within the Neighborhood Council boundaries in CD 10 (see the flyer for boundary information).
In the Valley, a group of very conservative Neighborhood Council members formed a group called the Budget Advocates. If you look at the City Council Agenda, you will see that they will be doing a presentation to the Council.  Attached is their “white paper”, full of additional cost, such as healthcare and no raises to City employees.
Although I have been supporting Block Clubs speaking out against Fracking and other Neighborhood activities, I have been the only Board member that has been speaking up in support of the sacrifices that City employees have already made.
Please post my information on your blog, email and other media used to communicate with Guild members and other Library affiliates.
Thank you for the support.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

EveryLibrary California by Mary Abler

EveryLibrary California
by Mary Abler

If you've been following the world of libraries and politics, you have probably heard of EveryLibrary, the first, national political action committee (PAC) dedicated to libraries. EveryLibrary works with local ballot committees to ensure they have the resources that they need to win library measures at the ballot box, by providing funding, expertise, and logistical support to raise voter awareness. This past summer, they assisted Santa Clara County Library District to pass Measure A, extending voter-approved library funding that was set to expire for an additional 20 years. Currently, a two-thirds (AKA super) majority is required for any California library who wishes to ask its voters to extend or increase funding.
SCA7, a California bill that is under review, would reduce the current threshold for winning library ballot measures from 66% to a simple majority of 55%. This change would make it easier for libraries to win the funding that they need to be sustainable and EveryLibrary has responded by creating the first California library PAC, EveryLibrary California. Our organization will be working hand-in-hand with organizations that have helped to make this bill a reality, including the California Library Association (CLA) and California Public Library Advocates (CPLA). However, these organizations are 501(c)3 educational associations and thus cannot engage in extensive voter advocacy or fundraising for political campaigns. That's where EveryLibrary California comes in. As a ballot committee organization, EveryLibrary California can act where these associations cannot. The opportunity to fundraise and directly support a statewide library Propositions will be unique in the California library advocacy ecosystem.
Over the next year, EveryLibrary California will provide tactical and operational support to state-wide voter awareness campaigns and funding for state get-out the vote campaigns, as well as conducting direct voter advocacy in support of state-wide library propositions. We are not an organization involved in lobbying, but work to drive state-wide get out the vote campaigns. Of course, the first step to accomplishing these goals is fundraising.
There are several ways that librarians and library supporters can assist us in our efforts. The first is to become a Fan Fundraiser. Fan Fundraisers can help to raise money in any number of ways, through one-time fundraising events, outreach on social media, or direct neighborhood canvassing, and EveryLibrary California is there to assist you every step of the way. And, because we know how valuable your time is, there are incentives in the form of iPads and Kindles. We are also asking our supporters to organize letter writing parties, asking your friends and colleagues to send a letter to their senator supporting SCA7, or to send letters to the editors of local news entities, explaining how important libraries are to your communities.
I hope that you will be in touch with me if you are interested in helping EveryLibrary California in its efforts. To learn more, you can visit us on the web, and stay tuned for more updates:
Follow us on Twitter:

Closing 2013 by Roy Stone

Closing 2013: A Brief Background for the New Librarians
by Roy Stone

Bad but not so horrid budget for the City of Los Angeles, lots of rumors about things happening. First negotiations by Coalition of city unions completed.


Budget worse; economy of city and state and country collapsing, rumors swarming, Coalition offers real ways to save jobs, first of which is Early Retirement Incentive Program which would cost the city a substantial amount of money initially but would result in hundreds, thousands even, off the payroll. But saving jobs isn’t easy, and it doesn’t come cheap and the negotiations were hard and they went on and on.

But in the end the unions did the right thing and the members voted the right way to save jobs, and the those still working committed through negotiations to pay more into retirement which gave us guaranteed health care benefits in retirement. We also voted to pay an ERIP incentive amount that will eventually be paid off, so current and newer staff members will see it end in about 14 years.


Budget even worse, the recession and housing/stock market/investment -companies/banks thievery caused the destruction of many public services including libraries across the country, including devastating cuts to our Los Angeles Public Library.

Early retirements begin, but that means fewer staff, hiring freeze but service to provide.

Throughout 2009-10 the Guild participated in or led rallies at various places around the city including storytimes at the Mayor’s house. We wanted the public to know what was going to happen to their services.


Budget getting worse, implementing reduced hours, reduced services, furloughs begin, layoffs were not threatened- layoffs were implemented. The Guild lobbied City Council, some pretended to care others ignored our concerns and in the end the votes were always against the employees. The Guild worked with library Management to reduce the number of layoffs required by the City Administrative Officer, but 15 of our newest freshest youngest librarians and 9 clerk-typists were laid off on July 1, 1010.

And because they are exempt from civil service 126 messenger clerks were terminated, fired. The Senior Librarian in charge of each unit was responsible for calling each person into the office, presenting them with a few HR statements, some paperwork to sign, retrieve their keys and badge and walk them to the door after they had collected their belongings. One of the worst days of our lives, on either side of the desk making this a most memorable horrid time. Things were bad but now we were reaching rock bottom. Morale was non-existent, all we did was hope to hang on, not expecting anything good to occur, which it didn’t. We had to reduce hours, no more Sundays, no more Monday service in the City of Los Angeles. Library patrons began calling their City Council representatives, and writing and emailing that they wanted their libraries restored. A couple of city councilmen thought that they could restore services with a parcel tax, but the idea of additional taxes even just $39 a year didn’t poll very well.  But the community still wanted their library. So, the next idea was to dedicate a minute amount of the funding that the city receives from assessed valuation of property tax. This meant no increase in the amount people paid on their tax bill, just that the library would receive a guaranteed amount of .03% after four years. The worst year ended with a little ray of hope. It became known as Measure L. 


The year began with Measure L as the only priority, weekends were spent at Farmers’ Markets and other events of any gathering, the nights were spent at Neighborhood Councils, homeowners groups, we went anywhere we could tell people about the City election and that there was the critical ballot measure to save their libraries. Events were held by the Guild, donations made to the Campaign to Save the Library, a website was created, Friends groups were contacted, informed by librarians across the City. There were weeks and weeks of after work meetings and weekend meetings. And finally we began to make progress, with the responses we began to hear. On the Sunday before the election a rally was held in the park at Memorial

Branch with about two hundred people and many news channels in attendance. On election day over 60% of the votes supported the library. We could hire back the laid off staff and hire new people and restore services and hours. But that turned out to be only an idea in my head, only for two weeks when we learned from the City Librarian that the funding in the first year meant we could not hire back the laid off staff, we needed to restore hours and that took many more people and so began the creation of the “as-needed” staff. The Librarians’ Guild waged a fight to rehire the laid off staff which we won and patiently waited as the hiring began and to their credit Administration came back to us several times to say they could increase the pace of the hiring.


Hiring of As Needed staff was continuing to support library hours, library hours increased and there was still not enough staff. Then As-Needed people started to get real jobs and the numbers diminished and the help diminished and we still didn’t have enough staff. And hours increased anyway. Senior and Principal Librarian examinations were held, botched a bit holding up the process.


Eventually permanent promotions occurred. More hiring took place...half-time, civil service librarians were hired. Real librarians began to fill vacancies. Full time positions were made. Life at LAPL was being restored and from the depths we have begun anew. Not that everyone worked out so smoothly, hiring drags, staffing is insufficient, promotions took way too long, hours continue to increase and staffing continues to lag. But it is still time to cheer...we have hired new librarians, Measure L is working, services are returning, and

This long recap is to tell you how we got to this point and remind the old timers and the new ones that the Librarians’ Guild has been here fighting for services and all levels of staffing and promoting our work as we have always done for the past 45 years. As we face the new year there are continuing and new challenges, and a contract to negotiate. We must improve the safety of our members this year. We will work with Library Management also challenge them. This is to remind the old timers and the new ones that the Librarians’ Guild has been here fighting for services and all levels of staffing and promoting our work as we have always done for the past 45 years.

And that brings us to 2014, a bright new year.

A future article will be about all of the stuff that seems odd and strange, and inefficient and makes our unwieldy bureaucracy even more unwieldy, especially for the new librarians.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

By Roy Stone

New Seniors - finally the fits and starts of the examination process are behind us, the list with all its goods and bads will be reset minus the promotions, interviews are complete, the start dates and assignments presented. Many stayed, many moved, most are happy and some are not...but we now move forward in a new phase of LAPL. More appointments than have ever been done at any one time for Seniors and Principals just a little while ago. So, the Librarians’ Guild offers wishes of success and good luck in all of the recent promotions, including former Guild members, the Division Librarians.

Appreciation is extended to everyone who served in the difficult months and years of filling an ‘acting’position. We know it was not the easiest position to hold and some of you had some seriously difficult branches to handle. But the vagaries of the City of Los Angeles’ promotional process doesn’t always end up the way we think it should, and this time, like every other time left some people who worked very had in the acting positions but were unable to be considered for promotion. There are some things that just don’t seem right, but didn’t our parents always tell us that ‘life isn’t fair’? So on behalf of the Librarians’ Guild we offer our appreciation for doing your part to keep a department or branch functioning for a long time under not so easy circumstances. What we were able to do was work with Management and Branch Library Services so that you could, at least, have a choice in your new assignment. 
By Roy Stone
We hope you’ll be checking in on the blog often and there will be quarterly PDF newsletters with articles from the blog coming out quarterly. The new editor Elyse Barrere welcomes all articles from members and past members of the Guild, short ones are just fine. She is probably mentioning that elsewhere.

HIRING--PROMOTING....The Guild has been actively promoting and encouraging Library Management to hire and promote as quickly as possible. And when the Managed Hiring Committee (representatives of the Mayor, Chief Legislative Analyst, City Administrative Officer) continued to obstruct the hiring of new staff, this time the budgeted Clerk Typists, Henry Gambill and I visited some of the key participants, including the Budget and Finance Committee, several City council offices, and two thoughtful people in the CAO and CLA’s offices. Within two days John Szabo called to tell us that we were successful, and that the Managed Hiring Committee had authorized the hiring of the Clerk-Typists. Of course all the hiring was now colliding in the Human Resources office, but as you know we are moving forward.

MIGRATION II....The Great Migration of 2011(or was it 2010?), as it came to be known, caused a lot of people to change their jobs and their home branches as they were forcibly moved to other agencies in an effort to equalize the staffing. It was a very difficult time for everyone. This third major staffing disruption, the first being E.R.I.P. - the early retirement plan that saw quite a few library staff leaving, followed by the tragic layoffs of librarians and clerks and the firings of over a hundred messenger-clerk, was a very difficult time for everyone. Our great library system was continuing its rush on a downward spiral. Service hours and then days were reduced again and again so that the few remaining people could maintain some sort of library service. However after literally clawing our way back by fighting for the passage of Measure L, fighting for the rehiring of laid off staff, fighting for the hiring of regular civil service staff we are facing a new and much happier migration.

Coming Soon! Stopping the destruction of the Pio Pico Koreatown Branch.  Negotiations for our contract are coming up.  Training for the new seniors.  The City budget...the Library budget.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Welcome to the Communicator!

Hello and welcome to the all new Librarian's Guild Communicator. If you've read this introduction before, feel free to scroll down and read our newer posts.

We're going to try out something a little different with this new incarnation.  This website will be run like a blog.  If you would like to submit a story all you have to do is write it up and send it to libguildcommunicator at gmail dot com.  The terms of submission are listed to the right side on this page. 
If you have questions or ideas please feel free to email me at libguildcommunicator at gmail dot com.

Your entries can be short.  We don't expect research papers.  Although, we wouldn't reject them either.  But if you want to make your point in just a paragraph or two that is perfect! 

Unsure of what to submit?  Here's a few ideas you can start with...

Librarians After Dark - What do you get up to when you leave the library?  Are you a rock star?  An artist?  Are you raising llamas in your backyard?  Let us know about your life afterhours.  Or maybe you know a coworker with an interesting hobby.  Ask them to sit down for an interview with you!

Funny Reference Questions – Did you get a reference question that made you giggle?  Tell your coworkers and give them a laugh too!

Potpourri - Did you recently have an epiphany about work?  Discover that you really enjoy a certain kind of patron, question or project?  Want to relay a funny anecdote (let’s change the names to protect the not-so-innocent)? 

There are no official "deadlines" for this blog.  If you send me an article I'll go through it for spelling and grammar and then I'll post it to the blog ASAP! 

If you're shy and you want to write something but you don't want your name attached, that's fine too.  I will need to know who you are (since I can only accept submissions from current and retired LAPL librarians) but I won't put your name on the blog with your article.