Wednesday, 17 February 2016

A sorry chapter in the saga of a new central library

Andrew Z Cohen, who knows a thing or two about libraries, penned an opinion piece in the Ottawa Citizen worth a read. Here's an extract.
If good ideas reach Ottawa long after everywhere else, blame a failure of leadership. So it is with the new public library, a saga of its own.
The mayor has long been uninterested in a new central library, worried that it’s too expensive. The head of Ottawa Public Library, Danielle McDonald, is a career bureaucrat, not a librarian; she lacks the vision of her eminent predecessor, Barbara Clubb.
Completing the Troika of Indifference is the chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board, Coun. Tim Tierney. Now he’s part of the problem, too.
Why Tierney is chair is unclear; his credentials for the position – educational or professional – are not in his biography on his website. His expertise is “business administration/information systems.” 
A professional librarian-manager, the librarian part should come first, could compensate for lack of vision of the other two. Unfortunately Danielle McDonald can't -- and for that the city council that saw fit to appointed her is as much to blame as she is.

1 comment:

Gail B said...

As a retired public library librarian, I find this not at all surprising. Bureaucrats and business managers become CAO's of many a library. Often Board members have no library experience whatsoever. I am aware of several members of a library board that did not even have a library card, indicating they had ever used a public library.

Few professional librarians, who have served the public directly, ever get promoted to the top positions.