January 21, 2018

Harvard Library Forms Councils with Union, Names Group Heads

The Harvard Library management will form three “joint councils” with the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW) to negotiate the library system’s reorganization, according to Harvard student newspaper The Crimson. The joint councils are defined in the university’s agreement with HUCTW, and won’t have authority to contravene that agreement.

The councils will represent the Access Services, Technical Services, and Preservation and Digital Services departments, according to union director Bill Jaeger. Each will include eight to ten people, with equal numbers of union and Harvard Library representatives, and will meet regularly from March through June.

Earlier this month, Jaeger had told LJ the union was frustrated that it hadn’t yet been able to establish a dialogue with the administration about the planned reductions in workforce.

Harvard also named the heads of its newly formed affinity groups last week. As LJ reported, the groups are a way of affiliating the libraries to others with similar collection needs, content or service areas, and specialized activities, in addition to their connection to their home schools.

The group heads are: Leslie Donnell, acting director of Library and Knowledge Services at the John F. Kennedy School of Government; Dan Hazen, associate librarian of Harvard College for collection development; Lynne Schmelz, librarian for the sciences and librarian of the Cabot Science Library in HCL; Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, University Archivist; and Ann Baird Whiteside, librarian of Frances Loeb Library and assistant dean for information resources at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

But not everyone is satisfied with the pace of progress: though the participants in Occupy New Harvard Library left Lamont together on February 17 as planned, according to the Crimson, student opposition to the restructuring is not over. Harvard Student Labor Action Movement is planning a march for no layoffs on March 1.

Meredith Schwartz About Meredith Schwartz

Meredith Schwartz (mschwartz@mediasourceinc.com) is Executive Editor of Library Journal.

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