Downsizing Fairfax Libraries Raises Protests

A four-decade veteran information assistant at the Tyson-Pimmit Regional Library is among the many voices expressing grave concerns for a “Beta Project” proposal to downsize the county library system now being considered.

Charles Keener notified the News-Press that “plans are underway to radically reinvent Fairfax County Public Libraries which I believe are very ill-considered,” he said. “Some of the misguided plans include eliminating the need for a library degree for any job, demoting existing staff several grades within the next few years, eliminating any role for front line staff in evaluating and reviewing books being removed from the branch collections, eliminating specific staff dedicated to serving children, not requiring people doing children’s programs to have any special interest in or experience with children, eliminating all reference desks and children’s service desks and replacing them with small ‘single service’ station.” He added, “A major concern is that many of the library’s stakeholders – front line staff, volunteers, Friends of the Library, parents and patrons of all sorts – had no input in the decision to implement these changes.”