For clarification.

News from this morning:

A petition to the Library's administration from the front line Library staff was delivered this morning, asking a meeting with administration for clarification on the critical issues facing our libraries, so that staff can better serve Miami-Dade residents and uphold the Library’s commitment to the community.

Thanks to Diario Las Americas who covered the event, and AFSCME Local 199 for their facilitation!

Check out the story here, and a rough translation below if you need it.

"Rumor of layoffs bring anguish to Miami Dade libraries
Employees of the public system looking to dispel rumors about a possible reduction in services and the elimination of 91 jobs

Some 306 of the 400 employees that the Public Library System of the Miami-Dade County have, have signed a petition asking to meet with the director of the system, Raymond Santiago, in order to dispel rumors about a possible reduction in services and the elimination of 91 jobs as a result of a perceived lack of resources to sustain the system.

Dressed in black clothing, employees visited the site were the director’s office is in the hope of being received, however, they learned that he’ll be enjoying vacation prior to his retirement that will be formalized on June 25th. 

Melinda Alvarez, library assistant, has 14 years in the institution, in conversation with Diario Las Américas, said the proposal reflects the anguish felt by workers, "also expresses our will to support the system in this crisis, we love our work and we want to continue here, " she said.

"We expect the return of the director to meet with the authorities, we are concerned that rumors now of service cuts and staff arise when supposedly if we had an approved budget of $ 64 million to keep the whole system, “she said.

Alvarez added that staff currently performs various functions within the County Public Library System [which is made up of 400 employees in 49 libraries]. "Sometimes we are not enough. Recently we had the case of Hialeah during registration for Section 8, there wasn’t enough of us for the demand, it is not just books, we support people when they apply for a job, do research, among other services," she said.

According to the version of some employees, assistant directors were receptive to the workers’ request and pledged to schedule a meeting as soon as the director returns.

Another employee who preferred not to be identified, reported that recently there’s been some layoffs implemented within the system and the employees who left have not been replaced. "I do not understand why if we had been told that spending for libraries was covered for this year, we are now making cuts, that’s why we collected signatures in a matter of days," he said.

Support of citizens

Yuhico Ricci, two years working in public libraries, reported that they will be performing various actions to inform citizens what is happening inside the system. "We want to communicate to our community what is happening and want to work together so that we can maintain and improve service. Through social media we have started the # SaveOurLibrary campaign for people to leave their messages of support, " she pointed out. 

"We love our work and we do not want cuts, on the contrary we want to open up new positions because the community needs it, we work from Monday to Saturday, we get people who need to make a resume and we gladly help them," she added .

Also through the website they are inviting the community to an event to be held on June 27 in the Cooper Park, located at 5751 Southwest 16th Street starting at four in the afternoon where they plan to gather residents to explain the situation.

Diario Las Américas tried during Tuesday afternoon to reach the directors of the Public Library System in order to get feedback, however, no one answered after multiple attempts."

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Community Advocates for Libraries in Miami
CALM is a Political Action Committee to support maintaining & improving the Miami-Dade Public Library System. This page will be used for the dissemination of information on how to join our efforts, and how to have your voice heard by Elected Officials.