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Greek Academic Libraries on EDGE

Start date of the petition: October 2, 2013
Total signatures

ANNOUNCEMENT

The Greek Government’s decision on the administrative staff redundancy/mobility scheme has an enormous impact on the Greek Librarians working in the academic libraries. Ninety-four (94) of them, coming from the biggest (eight in total) academic institutions have been affected. A substantial number of administrative staff working in academic libraries, including the already limited staff supporting the horizontal electronic services offered by HEAL-Link (negotiation/handling of e-resources, Union Catalog of the Hellenic Academic Libraries, Hellenic Interlibrary Loan Network), has also been affected. Consequently, HEAL-Link sadly realizes that is unable to provide its well-respected services to the Greek academic and research community.

Moreover, HEAL-Link realizes that the academic libraries affected by the staff redundancy scheme, will be forced to minimize or even cut many of the services they provide, like electronic and in-library services, services offered to external users. Branch Libraries will seize to operate due to the total lack of staff.

It should be pointed out that the sustainability of many of the new services that are already in progress and are provided via the National Strategic Development Plan (ESPA), the Digital Convergence Plan and the Education and Life Long Learning Plan, are at high risk. Upon completion of the horizontal services, like ILSaS (Integrated Library System as a Service), Institutional Repositories, Greek e-books (Kallipos project), there will be no staff to continue to provide such services due to the staff redundancy scheme.

Last, but not least, HEAL-Link would like to express its support to those colleagues, who have worked closely with HEAL-Link over the years, and are immediately affected by being made redundant and thus unemployed.

The Greek Ministry of Education is currently implementing a cruel, unfair and rather unjustified “mobility” scheme in eight of the country’s bigger universities composed of forced transfers and layoffs resulting in a mean staff reduction of about 30%. This “mobility”, a part of the troika-imposed so-called “public sector restructuring plan” proposed though by the Greek Ministry of Education, will also have a huge impact on the Libraries of the eight institutions, since the Greek Government decided to include 94 ! librarians and a number of other library staff in the scheme. This policy is ruining people’s lives and devastating library staff morale, since instead of rewards for the huge improvement and expansion of university library services that took place during the last 10-15 years in Greece, library staff is inhumanely being removed from them and sent to oblivion. This decision maybe a result of the naive perception that since most library services are nowadays digital and web–provided, librarians are no longer needed, ignoring the fact that all web services are designed, built and maintained by humans and it’s not possible to sustain a single one of them without human souls behind the keyboards, a lot of them being librarians.