It was very good news when Mary Frances Cooper, a librarian, was appointed the 11th director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) in January. I was never totally comfortable when CLP was directed by a nonlibrarian from business, even though that great library, built by Pittsburgh steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, is symbolic of all the public/private partnerships so crucial to the public good in America.
When governments run the corporations, it is communism. When corporations run the governments, as Mussolini showed us, it is fascism. To keep our society between and away from those extremes, we need a humane, socially, politically, and economically responsible entrepreneurial capitalism. That is a paraphrase of some of what Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said in his keynote speech at the recent conference of the Public Library Association (PLA) in Philadelphia. I didn’t record his exact words, but that is what I took away.
From the beginning of the modern library movement librarians have unselfishly shared their best ideas, innovations, strategies, management insights, and plans with one another. While there has been some competition and rivalry among libraries, it has never hampered the profession’s willingness to share success and failures.
No principle or rule of professional ethics requires that library workers forfeit any of their rights or job benefits in order to hold their jobs. Support for professional development and advancement is a benefit of working in good libraries. This often includes time off and even payment of costs for conference attendance. I was surprised [...]
THE BRIGHT, NEW YOUNG LIBRARIANS graduating from our LIS programs are the best news in this awful period of library decline. Every semester my classes at Pratt Institute in New York and Dominican University in the Chicago suburb of River Forest bring a new cohort of students, each as good as or better than the [...]
I’ve been a Pete Hamill fan for decades, and I’ve met him a few times. We’re close in age, so I recognize the New York City that he writes about in his latest novel, Tabloid City (Little, Brown, May). I think I know the difference between the solitude and loneliness that we both experienced living [...]