Marino Library has been closed to the public since the 25th of January with substantial loss of service to the local area. It has taken me quite a bit of time to get to the bottom of the actual issue here but the following are the facts:
Libraries are generally staffed by a mix of 3 different categories of personnel:
- Librarians – self-explanatory
- Library Assistants – support the librararians and can handle books etc
- Library Attendants – a general factotum/administration/front-of-house role often including some security-related activities e.g. opening/closing facilities
A large facility like ILAC with thousands of visitors a day would have a mix of the above categories of staff.
Smaller libraries like Marino service a smaller community and therefore have a much smaller pool of manpower.
Marino hasn’t had a Library Attendant for decades. This never caused a problem – until now.
IMPACT decided that in the context of the ongoing campaign of industrial action, its members would not operate this facility without an Attendant.
So down went the tools.
It has been closed since and I am told that staff have been redeployed; I have pursued the issue regularly with city management but the only hope of resolution appears to lie with the ongoing ballot on the Croke Park Agreement.
So once again, it is the tax-paying, library-going public who foot the bill for a loss of essential service.