Leitrim staff to ballot over 'Open Library'

Ballot for industrial action

Fiona Heavey

Reporter:

Fiona Heavey

Leitrim staff to ballot over 'Open Library'

View from inside Leitrim County Library, Ballinamore

Leitrim library staff will be balloted for industrial action over fears that the introduction of ‘staffless’ library services will lead to poorer services and job losses.

IMPACT Trade Union believes management plans for a large-scale pilot of staffless services during evenings and weekends will ultimately lead to completely staffless libraries with sharply limited services to the public.

IMPACT says library staffing is already at an all-time low and that local authorities, which treat libraries as a ‘Cinderella service’ will inevitably seek further savings by extending unstaffed services into core opening times.

Mohill Sinn Féin Cllr Seadhna Logan raised the issue at the monthly council meeting on Monday when he asked “that this Council would oppose the National Policy proposing staff less libraries and will not seek to go down this route as in some other countries.”

He said the MY Open Library scheme “will inevitably lead to an erosion of services and will ultimately be very damaging towards library services.”

Leitrim County Council stated, “While there are no open library plans at present in Leitrim, the concept of the open library allows self service access to library members outside of normal opening hours.

“A number of pilot projects are in operation across the country and are proving successful.”