Retirement of Director Danny Gillane
November's first story came on November 9th, when news broke that our Director, Danny Gillane, had suddenly announced his retirement after only a year and a half in the position. The announcement came just a couple of weeks after Robert Judge was re-elected President of the LPL Board of Control. This is, of course, no coincidence. Librarians have been leaving LPL ever since our board came under attack, and this is the second director we've lost during that time. The first, Theresa Elberson, was more openly hostile to the changes the new board members wanted, and she was given the boot quickly. Danny tried harder, working to bring the budget under strict control (having almost half your librarians quit or retire helps in that regard), and trying his best to find workarounds to book bans. His solutions, however, were sometimes indistinguishable from the problems.
But there's only so long a person who tries to uphold the ALA's professional standards at any level can take the kinds of abuses on our library that the current Board of Control, under the leadership of Robert Judge, continues to mete out. I can only imagine the stress is pretty awful, as it is on our entire library staff these days. Danny took it as long as he could, and then announced that he would retire, with his future plans unknown.
That is, until a few days later, when a new story broke, that he was in the running to become the new director at the East Baton Rouge library system, an hour or so away in the capital city of Baton Rouge. Any thoughts Mr. Judge or his cohorts might have had of simply writing off Danny's departure as a desire for more "family time" or "travel" were quickly put to rest. Danny is getting the hell out of here, because this board is destroying our library, and he doesn't want to be the last one left turning off the lights as the ship goes down.
As for a replacement director? We may have one or two candidates in house who might be willing to give it a go. The job pays well, and if you can hold your nose and look the other way long enough, you might muddle through. A search committee is supposed to be formed (though we have no details yet), but I say good luck finding anyone with decent credentials willing to come here.
LPL Board of Control
Regular November Monthly Meeting
For the November Meeting Agenda, Click HERE.
For the November Meeting Audio, Click HERE.
The November 21 meeting of the LPL Board of Control saw the second term of Robert Judge as President begin. Despite the letter from the Tulane First Amendment Law Clinic outlining the legal issues with his new rules for public comments, Mr. Judge changed nothing. Two sheriff's deputies still stood at the front of the room. Public comments still forbade mentioning board members' names. The Disturbing the Peace statute was still posted on library entrances.
This is a grave and important issue for censorship advocates, as these rules continue to intimidate would-be speakers and stifle free speech at these meetings.
On the agenda this month was the codification of rules put in place on who can check out R and NC-17 films at the library. Beginning in September, no one under 18 can check out an NC-17 movie, and no one under 17 can check out an R rated movie. Only with a parent who shows ID can this be overridden. Even though this policy has been in place at the library for over two months, board members felt the need to add it to the Collection Development policy (there is no check-out policy at LPL). When asked about developing a check-out policy by another board member, President Robert Judge waved it off and said they would deal with that at some other time. This motion passed unanimously.