Captured by bandits
Thanks for the terrific editorial (Francine Fialkoff, “NYPL Secrecy Must Go,” LJ 6/15/12, p. 8). I left the New York Public Library (NYPL) before these agreements were in place…. I attended the meeting and was one of the people who spoke up. There is nothing they can do about anything I say. I was involved in a three-month project last fall working with the library…. Whenever I went to a branch and met former colleagues, they told me horror stories about people getting pushed out even with union protection. Anthony Marx (the new NYPL president) didn’t have anything to do with the past practices, but he has [done] nothing to stop them….
NYPL…hates bad publicity and is trying to cover [itself]. An architect who spoke at the forum convinced me that this [current plan] is horrible for the Research Library on a structural basis. The whole thing is pretty awful. Donnell, the beautiful library across from MOMA, was stupidly sold. The buyer backed out…. I could go on and on….
When I worked at NYPL, I was proud of what I did. I feel very sad that a wonderful institution with a world-class research facility and 85 branches has been taken over by financial bandits and will be ruined if this plan—hatched a while ago—goes through….
—Harriet Gottfried, former Mgr., NYPL
Demand tops quality
It is a very sad day for librarianship when a library director’s opinion on a book trumps 200 patron requests (“FL County Pulls Fifty Shades of Grey from Shelves,” LJ 6/1/12, p. 12). Last time I checked, freedom to read applies to all our patrons, not just what a director feels is quality reading. Our library system was the first in two counties to offer the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, and we have had more holds on the series than just about any book I can recall. At a certain point, patron requests and best seller status trump concerns over the reviews of E.L. James’s writing.
—Julie Elmore, proud Shades of Grey supporter, Oakland City–Columbia Twp. P.L., IN
It is a language!
Putting language in quotation marks in the caption about Carrie Banks gives the impression that sign language—specifically, American Sign Language (ASL)—is not a “real” language (“Services for All,” Movers & Shakers, 2012, LJ 3/15/12, p. 30). There is no mention in the entire article about her dealing with deaf individuals, or whether she is a signer herself. It gives the impression that all individuals who work with special needs children know sign language, or that sign language is easy to learn, both of which are completely false…. ASL is as rich a language as any other. Both concrete and abstract ideas can be explained in ASL. As with other languages, one can say something in sign where there is no satisfactory verbal equivalent….
—Kevin Roddy, Libn., Kapi’olani Community Coll., Honolulu
In “Past as Prologue” (Notable Government Documents, LJ 5/15/12, p. 30), the annotation and distributor info for Cathlapotle and Its Inhabitants, 1792–1860, were incorrect. A corrected version follows:
“Anthropologist [Robert] Boyd has written the most comprehensive synthesis to date of known ethnographic and historic information concerning the ‘Cathlapotle Reach,’ a stretch of the Columbia River from Longview to Vancouver. Focusing on one of the two largest and best preserved Portland Basin villages, Cathlapotle, located on what is now the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Boyd explores the identity of its Native inhabitants from the beginning of Euroamerican contact in 1792 through 1860, by which time most had been removed to reservations. The report uses extensive excerpts from primary source materials and illustrative maps and graphics to clarify the cultural and territorial bases of Native identities in the Cathlapotle Reach.” The report is distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Cultural Resources Team, Region 1, 20555 SW Gerda Lane, Sherwood, OR 97140.
• The Fruita Branch of Mesa County P.L. District (MCPLD), CO, cost $2.1 million, not $10.2 million (“Powerful Partnerships,” Library by Design, Spring 2012, p. 6). The larger figure is the cost to construct the entire Fruita Community Center. The third paragraph states that “the partnership was born when the library had passed a bond referendum….” In fact, the library did not pass a bond measure. MCPLD was seeking a location for a new and improved branch in Fruita and accepted the City of Fruita’s offer to participate in the then-proposed community center. City voters approved a sales tax increase to pay for the city’s portion of the building. The library branch construction was funded from MCPLD’s capital budget.
• An ad that ran in the May 15 Library by Design supplement, p. 23, labeled Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture, has been confirmed to be the work of the Burgeon Group at the Rifle Branch, Garfield County Library, CO.