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Librarians agree second strike

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Librarians in Southampton are planning a second strike in protest to the use of volunteers.

Members of Unison are to strike on Friday and Monday over Southampton City Council’s decision to not fill vacant librarian posts and use volunteers to staff its libraries.

The union’s branch secretary, Mike Tucker, has accused the Conservative council of wanting to run down the service. “Libraries need professional staff to provide a modern service to the people of Southampton,” he said. “Untrained, unskilled, unreliable volunteers will not provide this service.”

However, the council has insisted that the use of volunteers will make the libraries more valued by the community and argue that investment in new technology, including a self-service system, means fewer trained librarians are needed.

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