The Fairfax County Public Library Board will present a report to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at the Fairfax County Government Center on Tuesday Morning, November 19th.

We believe it is essential that library supporters be a visible presence at that presentation.
We will be meeting at the Board auditorium at 10:00 am Tuesday.  Everyone is encouraged to wear purple if possible. We will have "I Support Quality Library" buttons and stickers for folks to wear.

Library Board Chair Will Jasper will be presenting to the Supervisors the reports from both the Evaluation & Communications Committee - which focused on gathering public and staff input on the proposed "Beta plan" and the desired future direction of Fairfax libraries -  and the committee which focused on weeding , discards, and floating in light of the scandal over hundreds of thousands of library books ending up in a dumpster.

Both committees ending up making very constructive recommendations based on the input they received. The Evaluation & Communication Committee came out very strongly against the Beta plan and the proposed "Customer Services" series which would downgrade and devalue library staff.

Yet Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova is still trying to push the destructive Beta plan.  She wrote a commentary in the Connection newspapers last week
It's on page 6.  

In that commentary Bulova says that the Beta plan contains many ideas "of value" which she says "should continue to be explored."  She thinks the problem was merely that the Beta plan was a tad too much at once for "the organization to absorb." When will Bulova recognize that it was a BAD plan which was soundly rejected by staff and public alike ? What is "worth pursuing" about lowering educational requirements for library staff and eliminating the expectation that there be any actual librarians in our libraries ? or in eliminating staff specializing in service to children ?

Please send Bulova an email letting her know what you think about her continued pushing of this plan to further downgrade and degrade our libraries.

Fairfax libraries do not suffer from a failure to reinvent themselves or be "efficient". They suffer from years of budget cuts and staff reductions.  Fairfax libraries have fallen behind neighboring systems because Fairfax County has been increasingly unwilling to fund them .  The library budget has been gutted by 25% over the last few years and the materials budget slashed by 2/3 .  No misguided search for further "efficiencies" will rectify that situation.  Only a restoration of appropriate funding will solve the ills which afflict our libraries.

Please let Bulova know she is on the wrong track regarding our libraries.  And please join us at the Government Center 10:00 Tuesday morning to support Library Board Chair Jasper as he rejects the Beta plan and calls instead for increased support for Fairfax County Public libraries.

Diane Lewis November 19, 2013 at 02:45 PM
Learned from the Library Board of Trustees presentation that Fairfax County spends less on its libraries than ANY of 8 nearby systems, a sum that is currently less than $2.00 per capita. Definitely not a factoid that County boosters will want to be putting in brochures for companies contemplating locating here.
Laura Calacci November 22, 2013 at 09:17 AM
Again, I don't really care one way or the other, but everyone who cares at all about libraries & tax payers money should look into the report John Stossel did on libraries in California that have been privatized. I believe it is in Santa Clarita. They got the government out of it and everyone is much happier. Usage & customer satisfaction are vastly improved. Personally, I don't think it takes a master's degree to organize a story hour for kids or help people check out a book. Its just typical of big government and big government employees thinking they have a job for life. I'm sure a high school or college student could handle 98 percent of what goes on in a local library. Cut all library employees to less than 30 hrs a week and put them in Obamacare exchanges and we could save MILLIONS. Fairfax County overwhelmingly voted for OBAMA so why not?
Sue Porter Beffel November 22, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Please, let's keep the left-right politics out of this discussion. It's about finding and funding the maintenance of an educated electorate in a rapidly changing world. Make changes where necessary and keep what is working. Appreciate and reward those who know about knowledge management -- both old and new style, especially those fluent in both.


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