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‘Self-Service’ Libraries a Bad Move – Ó Clochartaigh

29 September, 2016



Leagan Gaeilge Thíos - Irish Version Follows

Government plans to develop ‘Self-Service’ libraries are a retrograde move according to Sinn Féin Senator, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

Writing in this month’s edition of An Phoblacht, the Galway West – South Mayo Senator says:

“I have been contacted by library staff from Galway under the banner of the ‘Staff Our Libraries’ campaign, to express their concerns about a pilot scheme being operated by the Local Government Management Agency in Offaly and Sligo to develop ‘Self-Service’ libraries.

“They work by allowing registered users access to the libraries outside the normal hours, from eight in the morning until ten at night, seven days a week.  

“It’s claimed that no current library staff hours will be lost as a result of the changes, but ‘Staff Our Libraries’ says this is not true.

“The ‘Staff Our Libraries’ campaign are also concerned that the new approach could be very problematic and that a report on the pilot scheme has left out vital, negative feedback.

“They are worried that the changes could lead to anti-social behaviour if there is no proper supervision and they have also highlighted potential health and safety issues for regular users as well.

“Current staff hours are not to be reduced we are told, but this is not what happened in Tubbercurry, where the library was left open in a ‘Self-Service’ mode when staff were not available during normal hours.

“Although this approach is being lauded as best international practice, ‘Staff Our Libraries’ say that the only reason those other countries adopted this model was because they had no choice due to austerity cutbacks and that is no argument for us to follow suit in Ireland.

“Sinn Féin are very concerned that this is another way of reducing library staffing numbers by stealth. I believe we should be supporting and developing services and not the opposite. I have called for a Seanad debate on the issue, because I do not want us to lose the expertise, skill and personal interaction from what is one of the jewels in the local government system.”

(You can read the full article at http://www.anphoblacht.com/)

Céim siar atá iad na leabharlanna ‘féin-fhreastal’ – Ó Clochartaigh

Céim ar gcúl atá i bpleananna an rialtais chun leabharlanna ‘féin-fhreastal’ a fhorbairt, dar le Seanadóir Shinn Féin, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

Ag scríobh dó in eagrán na míosa seo do ‘An Phoblacht ‘, deir Seanadóir Ghaillimh Thiar – Maigh Eo Theas:

“Tá lucht leabharlainne i nGaillimh faoin mbratach‘Staff Our Libraries’ tareis teagmháil a dhéanamh liom le h-imní a léiriu faoin scéim píolótach atá ar bun ag an nGníomhaireacht Bainistíochta Rialtais Áitiúil in Uíbh Fhailí agus Sligeach chun leabharlanna féin-fhreastal a chruthú.

“Séard atá i gceist iontu ná go mbíonn daoine atá cláraithe mar bhall de leabharlann in ann dul isteach ag amanna nach mbeadh sé oscailte go h-iondúil, óna h-ocht a chlog ar maidin go dtí deich a chloig san oíche, seacht lá na seachtaine.

“Tá sé ráite nach ndéanfar aon chiorrú ar uaireanta oibre foirne na leabharlanna atá i gceist, ach deir ‘Staff Our Libraries’ nach bhfuil sin fíor.

“Tá amhras freisin ar ‘Staff Our Libraries’ go bhféadfadh fadhbanna móra a bheith ag baint leis an gcur chuige nua seo agus go bhfuil an tuairisc ar an scéim píolóta ag fágáil eolas  diúltach, tábhachtach ar lár.

“Tá imní ann go bhféadfadh iompar mí-shóisialta a bheith mar thoradh air na h-athruithe, muna bhfuil maoirsiú ceart ann agus tá ceisteanna eile arduithe ó thaobh sláinte agus sábháilteachta an lucht úsáidte chomh maith.

“Tá sé ráite nach ngearrfar siar ar uaireanta oibre na foirne reatha, ach dar le lucht an fhreasúra tharla seo i gcás na leabharlainne i dTobar a’Choire, nuair nach raibh foireann ar fáil, gur fágadh oscailte é ar bhonn féin-fhreastal le linn gnáth uaireanta.

“Cé go bhfuiltear ag maíomh go bhfuil an cur chuige múnlaithe ar thaithí idirnáisiúnta, deir ‘Staff Our Libraries’ nach raibh aon rogha ag na tíortha sin ach dul an treo a ndeachaigh siad de bharr an ghéarchéim eacnamaíochta agus nach argóint atá ansin go leanfaidh muidne iad.

“Tá an-amhras ar Shinn Féin gur bealach é seo le fáil réidh le foireann na leabharlanna. Sílim gur chóir dúinn a bheith ag tacú agus ag forbairt na seirbhísí, seachas a mhalairt. D’iarr mé go mbeadh díospóireacht againn sa Seanad ar an ábhar seo, mar níor mhaith liom go bhfeicfidh muid an tsaineolas, scil agus caidreamh pearsanta ag imeacht as ceann de na seodra is luachmaire atá againn sa gcóras rialtas áitiúil.”

(Is féidir an t-alt iomlán a fheiceáil ag http://www.anphoblacht.com/)

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