Monday, April 26, 2010

"Tough Love" Update #3 Great Library

I would like to respond to the anonymous person who left the following quote on a previous post:
The vast majority of people at this library are quite happy! It is not a toxic environment, as you suggest. It's unfortunate you are getting any attention at all for this unfair and untrue representation of a great library system. Perhaps if you still actually worked here you would understand what a great place it is!!!!
First of all, I completely agree that this is a great library system. I have had an opportunity to compare it to the library system in the urban area where we now live and the small county system wins hands down. The collection is better, the holds come faster, the electronic resources are easier to use, and the staff is more friendly and helpful. Even if my old library asked the taxpayers for increased financial support, it would be a bargain.

I would also agree that many of the staff at my former library are happy. Who wouldn't love working at a library. As I said in my first post, "I spent three years working closely with the exceptional staff and I know these are folks who care deeply about the services they provide to the community." For the most part the branches and departments of this library are staffed by dedicated employees under the direction of skilled and compassionate managers who work tirelessly to make the system work.

Someone suggested to me that the only problem at this library is an adverse reaction to change and that some of the staff who have resigned, retired or left under unhappy circumstances needed to go. It isn't the changes or the need for new people and fresh ideas that is in dispute - it is the toxic management style that has been adopted to bring about the organizational and staff changes that is the problem.

It is true I no longer work at this library. Perhaps an outsider can see more clearly than those who are in the thick of things. Maybe it is because I am on the outside that staff members have felt comfortable sharing their painful stories. After hearing these stories for many months I couldn't help but wonder why the top management of this library appears to have abandoned common decency.

Finally - if this is such an open work environment as the person who quoted above went on to say, why did they decide to post on this blog as "Anonymous."


  1. Change is one thing. Sneaky underhanded actions and vindictive behavior against employees is quite another thing.

    There are some awesome employees at this library. There should be a way to address concerns without being labeled as a trouble maker.

    It sure would be great to work in an environment where all people's views are respected and people feel safe to speak up.

    Thank you Dottie Mae for speaking up.

  2. We WELCOME change! Let's have some openness! My friends and colleagues that work in other libraries across the country have one word for what is going on at this library -- UNBELIEVABLE!
    (and not in a good way)

  3. Well, I am on the "inside" and it is a control issue, not change that is being played out here. We natives are indeed restless, and disappointed.