Wednesday, July 12, 2006

An American Librarian in Paris

What is it about library directors these days? Based on my informal survey of the job ads, I conservatively estimate about a zillion libraries are looking for directors, and now they're being fired left and right. First there was that flap in the Peach State where the homeschoolers fired the director because she got rid of their videos, and now the American Library in Paris fired its director. She's not taking it lying down, though.

"Following a contentious annual board of directors meeting of the American Library in Paris June 20 attended by some 130 of its members, Library Director Shirley Lambert revealed that she is filing suit against the board for wrongful firing and for unemployment compensation under French law.

Lambert told American Libraries she had been 'unilaterally' dismissed by the board’s executive committee via letter in April. Other trustees got wind of the firing and organized a protest that culminated in members demanding that the dismissal be rescinded and calling for the removal of Board President Charmaine Donnelly and three others on the board. The meeting ended with the chair refusing to recognize the protesters, said Lambert, whose employment ended July 7."

I guess that Bored President sure showed them! This sounds eerily similar to Gwinnet County, doesn't it? They better be careful about those Parisian protesters, though. The last time the Parisians got this excited they murdered their king and declared that anyone wearing short pants had to be guillotined. And then Napoleon came! My word, I hope firing this director doesn't lead eventually to France trying to take over all Europe again.

Turns out this library was founded in 1920 by the ALA, "which still maintains a liaison seat on the board, currently occupied by former ALA president Patricia Glass Schuman, who told AL she was not involved in the decision." Not involved in the decision, huh? Well, isn't that convenient!

But "former ALA President Betty Turock is also a board member, and said of the dismissal, 'It was clear that the director and the majority of the board could no longer work together for the benefit of library.'”

They've got a lot of trouble in that library, but what other people see as a problem, the Annoyed Librarian sees as an opportunity for a solution! She carried that little gem away with her from a mandatory management seminar once, along with a leather notepad cover, a really nice pen, and enough post-its to stuff an otter.

Not to worry, American Library in Paris, the Annoyed Librarian will be happy to come over and run your library. She loves Paris!

I'll march over and say "Je suis la Bibliothécaire Exaspéré," as one of my lovely French admirers calls me. [Bon jour, Clotilde!]


Anonymous said...

Tish! You spoke French!!!!

Annoyed Librarian said...


Clotilde said...

Hello, my favourite annoyed... (Sorry to be late, it's because of my hollidays, I went to London) !
If you come to Paris one day, please, tel me I want to meet you.

Harold Augenbraum said...

Looking for Shirley: I'm an old friend of Shirley's and if she reads this, get in touch with me, okay?

Harold Augenbraum