Library technicians and technical services in Queensland Government libraries

ALIA Library

Murphy, Patricia

This paper aims to look at the changes within the Queensland Government library sector which have come about due to service and staffing cuts taking place in and around 2012.
In early 2012 library technicians were well represented in Government and special libraries in Queensland, until staffing cuts took positions in all areas and levels of government. Amongst others, library staff were identified as ‘non-frontline’ and cuts to library staffing and services were undertaken as cost saving measures.
By the end of 2012 all Queensland Government libraries had changed; some libraries closed and close to half the library staff were made redundant.
This paper will briefly examine staffing data before and after the redundancies of 2012. It will identify the changes which occurred in business models, services, tasks and responsibilities of remaining staff which influenced the staffing structures we see today.
Specific examples of the Forensic and Scientific Services (FSS) library will be provided, including the changes for the role of our library technician and the value she has brought to the organisation and to the business unit.
Data and information from other Queensland Government libraries in this paper have come from informal interviews with library managers and government staff, anecdotal evidence and a short survey regarding staffing. This paper does not intend to provide a view of the current situation within Queensland Government libraries. The focus of the paper is the changes which occurred in the FSS library and how we evolved to maintain a relatively reasonable workload and a level of service which is appropriate for our clients and one which will hopefully see us into the future.

Deakin, ACT: Australian Library and Information Association