Labor movement braces for three-front battle with Trump, Congress and courts

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Will President Trump reverse the labor movement’s gains under Obama? Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

From The Guardian

After spending tens of millions of dollars in hopes of electing Hillary Clinton, the labor movement fears that President-elect Donald Trump, the Republican-controlled Congress and the supreme court will be hostile to labor and take numerous steps to hobble unions.

These steps can range from appointing a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that does business’s bidding to erasing an array of Obama administration regulations, including one making overtime pay available to millions more workers.

“These are going to be some challenging times,” said Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which has 1.3 million members. “We’re just going to have to hunker down.” Full article HERE

Improve your life at home and work–Join a Union!

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Start a Union

Joining with your colleagues in a union at your workplace offers many benefits. On the job, your union brings together the collective strength of you and your co-workers to insure meaningful negotiations with management for an equitable contract. Negotiations are not limited to only wages and salaries, but can also include staffing and overtime, safety and health, cost of living raises, provisions for continuing education and professional development, adequate pensions, vacations, equitable promotion systems and transfer policies, and a workable grievance system. Through your union, you and your co-workers oversee carrying out the provisions of the contract.

The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is the umbrella organization for 57 U.S. labor unions representing 12 million workers. The AFL-CIO recommends the following steps for starting a union:

Adding Classes and Content, Resurgent Libraries Turn a Whisper Into a Roar

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From The New York Times

Matthew Carter’s summer hideaway is not in the Hamptons, the Catskills or on the Jersey Shore. It does not require a car ride or a small fortune to keep up.

Mr. Carter, 32, an adjunct professor of music at the City College of New York, simply holes up at the Inwood Library in northern Manhattan with his research books. It is quiet, air-conditioned and open every day.

“I’m a total leech of public libraries,” he said. “It’s my summer hangout. It’s where I spend the majority of my time, and where I’m most productive.”
It is also a place where he has a lot of company.

Far from becoming irrelevant in the digital age, libraries in New York City and around the nation are thriving: adding weekend and evening hours; hiring more librarians and staff; and expanding their catalog of classes and services to include things like job counseling, coding classes and knitting groups.

No longer just repositories for books, public libraries have reinvented themselves as one-stop community centers that aim to offer something for everyone. In so doing, they are reaffirming their role as an essential part of civic life in America by making themselves indispensable to new generations of patrons.

Read full article here

‘Illegal Aliens’: Fighting to preserve an anachronistic and offensive term

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Editorial from the New York Times.

In 2014, Melissa Padilla, an immigrant from Mexico, was dismayed to find while doing research for a paper at Dartmouth College that all articles about undocumented students were archived under the heading “illegal aliens.” When she led a group of students to ask the college library to consider phasing out the term, they expected, at best, to make a statement at the campus. But their request triggered a political fight that has drawn in lawmakers engaged in the immigration debate.

Dartmouth librarians told the students that indexing terms were set by the Library of Congress, but agreed to raise their concern with the American Library Association.

In January, the association passed a resolution calling on the Library of Congress to drop the subject heading “illegal aliens” and replace it with “undocumented immigrants.” In March, the library’s officials said they intended to replace “illegal aliens” with two new terms: “noncitizens” and “unauthorized immigration.”

Full editorial here

Tea Party Republicans Force the Library of Congress to retain the de-humanizing term “illegal alien” for undocumented immigrants.

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GOP reinstates usage of ‘illegal alien’ in Library of Congress’ records

BY ANDREW TAYLOR, ASSOCIATED PRESS May 17, 2016 at 4:41 PM EDT

WASHINGTON — Republicans on a powerful House panel Tuesday narrowly defended a tea party-fueled move to tell the Library of Congress how to label immigrants living in the country illegally.

The GOP move is designed to force the Library of Congress to retain the term “illegal alien” for cataloging and search purposes, reversing the library’s plan to replace “illegal alien” with less prejudicial terms like “noncitizens” or “unauthorized immigration.” Read full article here

To Float or not to Float: collection management

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By Noel Rutherford

Most libraries that adopt floating collections expect circulation to rise because collections will be better distributed to meet patron demand. Yet how many have analyzed whether collections perform better after implementing floating than they did before materials were relocated?
The Nashville Public Library (NPL) undertook an experiment in floating with optimism. Did the results pay off? Here is how it all began.
FLOATING THE IDEA
After attending an American Library Association (ALA) Floating Collections workshop in 2009, I and many other librarians came away fired up about floating and its potential benefits for both our staff and customers. Many libraries had begun floating their collections as a way to decrease transit time and refresh collections without the need to purchase additional material. The intent behind floating—that local interests should drive what’s in the particular library’s collection—was appealing, and anything that made us more efficient had to be worth trying.Full article here

Where did the Government Jobs Go?

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Long a ticket to the middle class, especially for African-Americans, they have become increasingly difficult to find

 

By ANNIE LOWREY
APRIL 27, 2016

On a muggy afternoon in April, Angelina Iles, 65, folded herself into my passenger seat and took me on a tour of her beloved Pineville, La., a sleepy town smack in the middle of the low, wet state. We drove past spaced-out, low-slung houses and boarded-up businesses — shuttered restaurants, a decrepit gas station — as Iles, an African-American retired lunchroom worker and community activist, guided me toward the muddy banks of the Red River. Near there stands the locked-up Art Deco shell of the Huey P. Long hospital, which once served the poorest of the poor in Rapides Parish — and employed more than 300 workers.

When employers leave towns like Pineville, they often do it with a deaf ear to the pleading of state and local governments. But in the case of Huey P. Long, the employer was the government itself. Its demise began, arguably, in 2008, when Bobby Jindal was swept into the Louisiana governor’s mansion on a small-government-and-ethics platform, promising to modernize the state and unleash the power of American private industry along the Gulf Coast. At the time, Louisiana was flush with federal funds for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction and running a budget surplus. Jindal and the State Legislature slashed income taxes and started privatizing and cutting. This was a source of great pride for Jindal. During his failed bid for the presidency last year, he boasted that bureaucrats are now an endangered species in Louisiana. “I’ve laid off more of them than Trump has fired people,” he said, “and I’ve cut my state’s budget by more than he’s worth.” Full article here

UK continues to gut its Public Library system, even as Patrons keep fighting back.

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                                                                                                                                                                    “a place of refuge and reinvention’:what my local library means to me.” Refuge and  ReinventionReinvention–an overarching theme at last weeks Public Library Association Conference in Denver; Public Libraries must reinvent themselves to stay relevant. But read these Library loving patrons’ comments– UK libraries have expanded and reinvented and remained very relevant– yet 350 have closed over the last 6 years, and 25% of Library jobs forever gone. So if public libraries reinvent and stay relevant and the public loves their libraries and their librarians, why are they being closed?

From The Guardian:

‘A place of refuge and reinvention’: what my local library means to me
Libraries are facing a crisis, with many at risk of closure because of cuts. We asked people to tell us what their local libraries mean to them
There’s something about local libraries.

For some, the library is a place to read. For others, it’s a place to learn how to use the internet, or whatever else they fancy. Yet libraries are under threat – over the last six years, almost 350 have closed. Many are fighting for their existence today, either being forced to closed or being run entirely by volunteers.

The communities using them are fighting back – in South London, local residents occupied Carnegie library for more than a week in protest against its closure.

So, unsurprisingly, when we asked our readers what their library means to them, we received hundreds of responses. Here’s what they told us about their local libraries:

I will never forget the kindness of our local librarians
My husband, Ian, developed Alzheimer’s 8 years ago at the age of 57. Within a very short time he lost his ability to read due to significant loss of sight. Our local librarians signed him up for free audio books and DVDs. They arranged to keep his library card at the library. For all of these years, whenever he goes to the library, one of the staff greets him and accompanies him to the audio book section, reads the blurb on the case to him and puts the books on his card. He continues to tell people about the wonderful books he has been ‘reading’. Recently, a library Memory Group has been set up. Every Thursday morning people with memory problems (and their carers) meet for an hour for memory stimulating readings as well as coffee and biscuits. Ian loves this group, for the readings, for the company of its members and for the sense of support engendered.

I will never forget the kindness of our librarians and how they helped my husband, and, by extension, me, at the most difficult time of our lives.

Gail Grant, member of Royal Wootton Bassett library

Read full article here.

Victory for Unions as Supreme Court, Scalia Gone, Ties 4-4

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With Scalia gone, Unions squeak out a victory–From the New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court handed organized labor a major victory on Tuesday, deadlocking 4 to 4 in a case that had threatened to cripple the ability of public-sector unions to collect fees from workers who chose not to join and did not want to pay for the unions’ collective bargaining activities.

It was the starkest illustration yet of how the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month has blocked the power of the court’s four remaining conservatives to move the law to the right.

A ruling allowing workers to refuse to pay the fees would have been the culmination of a decades-long campaign by a group of prominent conservative foundations aimed at weakening unions that represent teachers and other public employees. Tuesday’s deadlock denied them that victory, but it set no precedent and left the door open for further challenges once the Supreme Court is back at full strength.

Read the rest here.
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Study Finds 3D Printing May Be Hazardous To Our Health

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From Treehugger via Progressive Librarians Guild

Many forward-looking designers and makers have been enthusiastic about 3D printing. After all, it seems to open up new creative possibilities and could democratize design. But if you’re not careful, using a 3D printer might not be so good for your health, according to a new study investigating the health effects of 3D printing and certain filament materials.

Full Article here.
and here.

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