Bulls Eye on Libraries in Bad Economy
- the Wall Street Journal is shutting down its Library (HT to Allan Cho);
- here in Canada, the NRC looks to be dicing up CISTI - I know, publishing; but part of the picture at hand;
- and in our own industry, a recent Law Librarian Blog poll shows that only 11% of law libraries don't expect their budgets to be cut.
Unfortunately in tight times, deadwood gets cleared. It's almost an excuse for decision makers to remove elements of the system they don't value or respect. That's not to say that all organizations are like the WSJ, but that's what Librarians & Library Techs are up against.
If there's ever been a point in time when clarity of library services must be addressed, it's now. Putting your skills to use outside of libraries is another option, and obviously the direction I've chosen personally; however, if you're staying to fight, and especially when you do have an employer that values your work -- I would say now is the time to re-prove your value. Even if it means re-inventing your services.
2009 is going to be a bad period for Libraries - all types of libraries. And not just because of the economy, but because some employers see our services (and profession for that matter) as deadwood. We can hold our breath for a library bailout, or... we can fire ourselves up and do something at a micro level.
My suggestion? Start today, because tomorrow just might bring a pink slip.