Library reform of amalgamated hromada
The Semenivska amalgamated hromada of the Zhytomyr Oblast decided to combine the positions of librarians and social workers, saving more than UAH 200 thousand a year.
By Dmytro Synyak
The Semenivska AH of the Zhytomyr Oblast demonstrated innovative abilities at the stage of its formation in December 2016. It was the first in Ukraine to choose the village, which previously had no village council, as the administrative centre of the AH. It was done because of unwillingness of six village councils, included in the hromada, to even nominally become the outskirts. Subsequently, the experience of the Semenivska AH was used by several other hromadas that had a similar problem. The next non-standard step of the AH residents was the combination of positions of librarians and social workers. Decentralisation.gov.ua visited the Semenivska AH to learn more about the peculiarities of this approach.
Not all posts can be combined, but the Semenivska AH noticed that the combination of positions of a librarian and a social worker does not contradict the law "On Libraries and Library Services". The hromada residents for a long time studied the job descriptions of librarians, government resolutions related to their work, and came to a conclusion that a librarian could at the same time be a social worker. After all, the librarian is in particular responsible for the so-called socio-cultural direction, which includes social services: first of all, primary prevention of socially negative phenomena, moral and aesthetic education, dissemination of information about healthy lifestyle, etc.
Downsizing of any staff is a very lowly task. Therefore, after a long reflection, the deputies of the Semenivka village council proposed the original way of solving the “library problem”. The idea of reforming the library network belongs to Lyudmyla Kolesnyk, deputy head of Semenivka village for humanitarian issues. According to her proposal, schools and rural libraries should be united, offering to librarians to assume additional responsibilities of social professionals – those who take care of vulnerable strata of the population.
“Librarians are pleased with the work of social specialists,” adds Nataliya Semenyuk, head of the Semenivska AH. “As they also performed educational and preventive work and communicated with children. Thus, now they got an opportunity to do something for these children.”
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