Staff at the Brockton Public Library have been stretched thin due to unfilled positions and knew they had to do something. So they made their case in a letter to the mayor, explaining that having so many vacancies was making it hard for them to serve the public.
“Due to these unfilled positions, staffing levels have been at an all-time low,” the librarians wrote. "Employees are spread thin and are being asked to perform many tasks that are outside of their normal job descriptions. We perform above and beyond normal expectations and feel the lack of staffing is having a direct impact on the services we provide for our patrons on a daily basis.”
The mayor apparently got their message, loud and clear. He has indicated that the vacant positions, which include two library pages, a library clerk and a branch assistant supervisor, will be filled as part of the city’s 2016 budget. The mayor’s decision will hopefully bring to a close a tumultuous period at the library that saw the exit of a controversial library director, and the shrinking of library staff. In addition to writing the mayor, library staff also lobbied city administrators and the library Board of Trustees, urging them to remedy the library’s staffing problems.
Brockton Public Library chapter chair Jen Belcher says that while it’s too soon to celebrate just yet, she and her co-workers are eager to return to the days when the library was adequately staffed. “We’ve pretty much been doing everything,” says Belcher, whose official title is head of circulation, but wears multiple library hats these days. “We’re just glad that the mayor seems to have heard our message.”
_Does your chapter have a story to share in The Spark? Please contact Rand Wilson 617 398-7102 or rwilson@_seiu888.org