Victoria library workers locked out by management.

Whoah! This is not good news for my hometown!

All nine branches of the Greater Victoria Public Library are expected to be closed indefinitely as of Sunday at 5 p.m. after the library board voted Wednesday to lock out unionized employees….Library staff have been in a legal strike position since Sept. 4. Since then, the union has held rotating strikes, with 10 full days of strike action. Computer terminals have been shut down, numerous programs using rented library space have been cancelled, and employees have been waiving fines for overdue materials.

British Columbia has always been a union hotbed (it’s like France–if it’s autumn, they must be striking), but this still pains me. I practically grew up in my local public library. It was a treasure house. I took out huge stacks of books, staggered home with them, forgot to renew them, tithed regularly from my allowance. I loved it.

It’s sad and sobering to realize that libraries, like everything else, are more complicated places when you grow up.

ETA:  I almost missed this wonderful tidbit from Ed Seedhouse, the  president of the local:  “And as someone who normally reads a book a day, I can tell you [the lockout] is going to be hard on me.”  A book a day!  I am astounded!!!

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