Thursday, May 10, 2012

Beautiful, but...

Just a few weeks ago, Vancouver Public Library was announced as being one of the world’s most beautiful public libraries. The photo, not the standard view of the building, is a shot I took looking up at the glassed roof.

Sadly, inside the building, it’s not all so pretty. There’s a mix of good and ugly going on.

The good part would be last night’s literary event where, inside the library over 200 of us were in the audience for another in VIWF’s Incite Series.

The readers were Vincent Lam and Linden MacIntyre. As might be expected, their readings had everyone following every word.

MacIntyre pulled off the evening's biggest laugh with his comment in response to a question from the audience he couldn't quite hear. "Like they say in Newfoundland," he said, "hearing is the second thing to go."

The only cloud on the event was the fact that as we entered we learned that the librarians at VPL are having to fight to defend their jobs.

Many staff members have had their hours cut to lower than the magic cut-off line of 20 hours. Below 20 hours, a worker no longer qualifies for sick pay.

There are a number of other ugly complications, but they’re spelled out better than I can state them at the library workers’ website.

The reason the city is having to slash $500,000 from the library’s budget? What else, last year’s ‘supposed-to-boost-Vancouver’s-economy’ slash in the pan Olympics.

Good luck, London. I hope your city fares better.

1 comment:

hg said...

Thanks, FR. Not the usual view one sees in pics, that's for sure.