April 23, 2018

Major Salt Lake City Newspaper Editorial Critical of Library Leadership

The Salt Lake Tribune, the largest newspaper in Salt Lake City, published an editorial on October 22 entitled “Library’s Faults Are at the Top,” which says in part that “Library Director Beth Elder has clearly lost the confidence of her own staff, professionals and volunteers.”

Elder’s tenure at the library has been tumultuous as LJ has reported and is meeting growing criticism. A recent survey of  223 employees showed that the staff generally does not believe the library’s top managers, led by Elder, encourage open and honest communication.

The editorial said: “A recent staff survey, plus a constant stream of reports about how upper management is going out of its way to limit internal and external discussions, suggest what others have reasonably described as a ‘toxic atmosphere’ that serves the community poorly.”

In addition to the editorial, the radio station KCPW broadcasted an interesting and frank 34-minute  interview on Wednesday with Salt Lake City Councilman Luke Garrott, Lizzie Gupta, a member of the Salt Lake City Library Board, and Suzy Dailey, past president, Friends of the Library about the situation at the library.

The Friends group has threatened to withdraw its support for the library unless changes are made.

Michael Kelley About Michael Kelley

Michael Kelley (mkelley@mediasourceinc.com) is the former Editor-in-Chief, Library Journal.