Bendigo TAFE sacks 'Victoria's favourite librarian'

BENDIGO TAFE has axed five staff from its city campus library, including a woman who was named Victoria's favourite librarian.

Staff were informed on Wednesday morning they no longer had a job.

Among the librarians made redundant was Narelle Stone, who was this year recognised as Victoria’s favourite librarian by the Australian Library and Information Association.

Ms Stone had worked at the TAFE library for 26 years. 

A former colleague told the Bendigo Advertiser Ms Stone was the "lifeblood" of the library and would be a huge loss.

"I really can't understand the decision," she said.

"When I heard about all the cuts I would have pegged her as the last to go, considering all she’s done."

"The saddest thing is it's a loss for students."

The library redundancies were part of 47 job losses announced by the TAFE in November.

Almost 100 TAFE staff were made redundant last year due to budget cuts. 

Ms Stone worked at the library on a part-time basis. 

Bendigo TAFE chief executive officer Peter Coyne said a number of part-time redundancies and one full-time voluntary redundancy had been made at the library as an efficiency measure.

He said it was a hard decision to make.

"It’s not about capability and talent," he said.

"That's one of the things that is a very sad aspect of a broad redundancy program."

Mr Coyne said the library would remain open and would continue to adapt to student demands.

"We’re adjusting and shifting our traditional model all the time," he said. 

"It's about changing how we deliver library services in a contemporary environment." 

National Tertiary Education Union state secretary Colin Long said it was a short-sighted decision to sack such highly-skilled staff.

“Many have been working there for years and for them to be treated in such a way, is devastating," he said.

Mr Long said the Bendigo redundancies were a sign of a broader impact on TAFE libraries.

“The TAFEs can’t afford to run them and they’re being destroyed.”

“It’s a direct result of the government budget cuts.”

Mr Coyne said the latest wave of job losses reflected the TAFE's need to become financially independent.

He said the organisation was aiming to offer quality and relevant training into the future.

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