For better or worse, I have to concur with the only conservative married lesbian columnist in existence, Sue-Ann Levy, when she observed that Maureen O’Reilly is engaged in serious hyperbole about “privatization” of the library. (Marcus Gee made a similar point.)
I am not even sure what privatization means in this context. Floaters are already privatized, and that isn’t working out great. I assume the fear is that every aspect of collections and cataloguing would be “outsourced” to that American firm I’m not going to bother looking up. Even staunch Conservatives (note the majuscule), who dearly wish they were American, can understand how an American company is unlikely to do a better job stocking the Toronto Public Library than Torontonians do. It seems like a non-starter.
I oppose advertising in the library. Advertising is advertising (QED), not sale of public assets to private interests.
Moreover, I don’t see any rational prospect of branch closures under this Board. I don’t trust these fuckers as far as I can throw them, but they aren’t that stupid. Paul Ainslie has already decided that, no matter what the facts are, some library branches are “underused,” hence their hours should be cut back. I promise you he will try to push that through. I bill myself as a scabrous, uncompromising defender of the Toronto Public Library, yet I just do not see an outcome where any branch ends up closed.
What about job security?
I don’t see how otherwise intelligent union executives and columnists are unclear as to why the Ford administration wants to reduce job security. Because they can. Because conservatives (note the minuscule) believe in a race to the bottom. (Progressive Conservatives might not have believed that. City government is not run by Progressive Conservatives.) Employees by definition should not have “job security,” conservatives believe, invariably lashing out like wounded animals by claiming they never had it before, so why should anybody else?
Two days into the strike, I begin to wonder about the solidity of the principle on which it is based.