Issues of Concern

Issues with Proposed amalgamation of Library Services in Cavan/Monaghan, Laois/Offaly, Longford/Westmeath, Carlow/Kilkenny, Cork City/County, and Sligo/Leitrim/Roscommon

  • No discussions or consultation have taken place with IMPACT Trade Union in relation to these proposals.
  • The main aim of proposals seems to concern the suppressing of County Librarian posts.
  • Management have failed to set out the rationale for these proposals and any potential savings which may be achieved.
  • The only direct cost saving outlined in the proposals are from the suppression of a County Librarian post, however any potential savings made will be mitigated when financial contributions have to be made by the three Local Authorities concerned to the staff operating costs of the overall service.
  • Members working in Library Services have a very real concern that these proposals will lead to a loss of Library Services for the Counties concerned.
  • As Rural Counties, there is a very real threat to rural Library Branches should these proposals go ahead, as decisions are being made on number crunching and not viewing the service which is being provided to the community.
  • Staff are continuing to operate a first rate service to members of the public given the constraints they face with limited staffing resources, which will not improve under these proposals… on the contrary they will worsen.
  • The amalgamation of the Library Services will result in a significant loss of autonomy within Local Authorities, as although Library Services budgets have to be discussed and agreed upon within each Local Authority, decisions concerning the running of branches, branch closures etc, will be removed to the lead authority and will not be made at local level, resulting the loss of control in deciding how Library Services should be delivered within the County.
  • Library Services are a tangible service being provided to members of the public at Local Level. With increasing taxes, particularly local taxes, members of the public are seeing their Local Services being eroded rather than maintained or expanded. Library Services are an example of an efficient, effective service which the public are availing of.
  • The amalgamation of the three Library Services is not a Shared Service.

National shared services for Library Services are being implemented and will be rolled out to each County irrespective of these proposals.

  • Universal Membership – Nationwide membership
  • Single Library Management System (SLMS) being introduced in the near future – which means that the largest technical cost of Library Services will now be shared nationally. The SLMS will also deal with national tenders and acquisitions resulting in further cost savings for Library Services nationally
  • Membership Rates – being reviewed nationally

Improvements in cost savings and efficiencies for Library Services are being looked at from a National Level and so any proposed amalgamation will not result in direct savings and in fact could result in an increase in costs to streamline three different sets of systems into one, such as the Library Management Systems which at present has three separate systems in operation throughout the Counties.