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TOPIC: As a librarian I spend most of my time helping benefits claimants work out the UC

As a librarian I spend most of my time helping benefits claimants work out the UC 05 Feb 2019 15:28 #13745

  • echidna
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As a librarian I spend most of my time helping benefits claimants work out the Universal Credit system
inews.co.uk/news/uk/universal-credit-claimants-librarian-help-application/
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As a librarian I spend most of my time helping benefits claimants work out the UC 05 Feb 2019 18:06 #13765

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I can identify with this to a certain extent although didn't have it quite so tough as it sounds for this young woman.

Circa 2005, I moved from working in medical library/education resource centres (for trainee/junior doctors etc) into public libraries and the difference was huge. This was the days before Universal Credit btw. That is only part of the whole story. Helping with UC is in addition to booking time on PCs (usually 4-6 machines for a small library) for job search/applications. Now taking into account how long it takes to search for jobs and how long it takes to fill in a job application for or UC form and the number of machines and that there are usually a queue, common practice is to book people on for an hour and this is helped if you have made a request in advance - as there maybe one PC free with someone due to be sat there in say 20-30 minutes. If you require extra time then you have to ask the library assistant which often involves physically standing up and going to the customer service/reception desk eating up valuable time and also assuming that there maybe not an assistant stood there straightaway - less likely after persistent cuts and staff shortages that is where your local library is still actually open.

Going back further at the onset of the computer age (Mid 1980s? Corrections welcome), library staff were required to do IT training and some staff (including the head librarian of our central library who had to study on her day off working long hours on the other six) quit due to the change in environment and others later after not being able to get used to computers.

Okay things have moved on and this isn't such a technological jump for most library staff although some old school still remain but we can see from this link how even a young person able to comfortably use a computer still has physical difficulty trying to perform virtual handstands to deliver the requirements of what are no longer called libraries but rather Library & Information Centres including aspects previously dealt with by local councils and job centres. It is easy to see the govt's attitude to local libraries (not even mentioning literacy levels) taking up the slack which could not be delivered by our local job centres or housing offices deluged with numbers regardless of the (fake) unemployment/homelessness figures.
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As a librarian I spend most of my time helping benefits claimants work out the UC 06 Feb 2019 12:53 #13790

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I was in my local library this morning Verc printing out some MR paperwork and using a desktop computer again had me messing up a bit! I`m used to a laptop now! Kept hitting the wrong keys or losing my webpage and having to log in again..... :oops:

The biggest shock was I printed 12 pages in total from attachments I`d save in my email account and went to pay for the copies. "That`s will be £3.75p please"..... :ohmy: :blink: :angry: I nearly dropped my bag!! Got a new up to date library card though so now have a new code I can use if I need to use the services again....maybe need an overdraft from my bank though next time! :lol:
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