Friday, June 16, 2006

Berkeley Library Director Quits Over Union Problems

Berkeley Public Library Director Jackie Griffin resigned after butting heads with the local union.

The problem apparently was caused by the implementation of RFIDs in books combined with talk of staff layoffs, although there seems to be some dispute about whether the two were related.

For how long can automation and technological advances be restricted in the interest of keeping as many people as possible gainfully employed? I would hate to think my own job could be in jeopardy just because my library put RFIDs in the books. That would be a wakeup call telling me my job and career need upgrading so I'm not so easily replaced!

There is the suggestion of "people problems" as well, as some librarians claimed unfair treatment. It sounds somewhat similar to the situation in King County, Washington, where union-represented workers voted "no confidence" in the director, Bill Ptacek, apparently over his plan for "clustering" librarians.

Compare with the firing of the director of the Gwinnett County Public Library because she refused a hug.

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