NO doubt the Tighe Report, which is condensed in The L.A. Record for July, will have the scrutiny of all librarians. It is concerned with working conditions as they affect working hours, welfare and training and reads as if it were a series of excerpts from Brown's Manual. The Scheme of Conditions of Service under which public librarians workthe Report is confined to these a further report on nonpublic libraries is contemplatedmakes no allowance for the late hours in comparison with those worked by other Council employees. Some other would be a more appropriate phrase as in many towns committee clerks, solicitors and accountancy officers have regular evening duties which are far later than 8 p.m. The report asks the framers of the Scheme to provide special pay for hours beyond normal office hours. Hours worked should, as far as possible, be continuous, and not split, and if they must by split have, between the shifts, a fivehour interval. It is not explained how this excellent suggestion can be implemented on a day extending from, say, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Is 912, 58 contemplated In any case the problem is to get two meals digestibly into the interval. Welfare provisions should include a staff room, where meals can be prepared and eaten, with the proper equipment, furniture and a clock separate lavatory accommodation for each sex and again the necessary equipment of towels, etc. first aid supplies and protective overalls or dust jackets. The wearing of uniform overalls on public dutywhere we suggest they would be most indicative and usefulshould not be compulsory. We are not sure if this means that overalls need not be worn or that they need not be uniform in materials and pattern. Educational suggestions include the recognition of hours spent in attending professional meetings and weekend and summer schools, an adequate staff library of books and periodicals and every basic textbook in a sufficient number of copies to meet the full demands of the staff. The Report does not indicate if this also means the class textbook which the assistant uses throughout his course. Staff guilds or committees, on the familiar plan which has been usual in some libraries for forty years, should be encouraged. There is nothing in these recommendations which is new, but they are worth while, as their author implies, as a check which may be used to suggest minimum improvements.
New Library World – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 1, 1953