February 16, 2018

Sacramento Public Library Director Gold, Under Fire, Announces Retirement

By Norman Oder

  • Grand jury slammed library and director
  • Board had rejected firing director
  • Director Gold said she’d planned to retire at 60

While the Sacramento Public Library (SPL) this summer rejected a grand jury’s report bashing the library and suggesting the dismissal of director Anne Marie Gold, the embattled Gold yesterday announced her retirement as of December 1, without reference to the turmoil surrounding the library.

“I’m proud of the team at the library and what everyone has accomplished,” Gold said of her seven-year tenure, according to a library press release. At a library board meeting yesterday, according to the Sacramento Bee, Gold declared, “I’ve long planned to retire when I reached 60, and that’s around the corner for me.” While she conceded there had been problems during her tenure, neither she nor board members mentioned the grand jury report.

In May, the 2007–08 Sacramento County Grand Jury cited several problems at SPL, including the hiring of a maintenance company that inflated invoices for more than three years, credit card abuses by managers, failure to collect millions in fines, and overuse of consultants.

The library press release noted that, under Gold’s leadership, SPL, the state’s fifth largest library, saw significant growth, including an increase in the number of branches from 24 to 26 and the remodeling and expansion of nine other libraries. The library experienced double digit increases in circulation, visitors, and programs. In 2004, Gold helped lead the campaign which resulted in 72% of Sacramento voters approving the renewal of the City of Sacramento special tax, which funds library branches.

Still, the union representing about 285 SPL workers issued a statement saying “the time has come for new leadership,” according to the Bee. “Patrons and employees need to feel confident that the leadership of the Sacramento Public Library has their best interests at heart and that taxpayer dollars are being wisely spent,” said Steve Crouch, business representative for Stationary Engineers Local 39, in the statement. “Unfortunately, for the past five years this has not been the case.”

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