The Stand-Up Librarian Is 'Released' by Library Where She Was Employed
"So a comedian walks into a library and decides to work there …"
That's not my line. It's from Meredith Myers, the self-described Standup Librarian who just had something very unfunny happen to her.
She got fired from a West Hollywood library job that she loved.
But let's back up, all the way to Florida, where Myers discovered as a child that a library is a place to think, dream and figure things out. As an adult, she grabbed books on the PR business, leading to a 10-year career as a publicist. Then she checked out books on stand-up comedy and became a comedian. Then, about five years ago, she realized what she really wanted to be when she grew up. A librarian.
Here's what happened earlier this week: On the morning of Oct. 25, Myers told her library colleagues that The Times was interested in her story, and that metro feature editor Nita Lelyveld and a photographer might be coming by the library the next day. "They were excited about it and happy for me," Myers said of her colleagues.
But later that day, Myers learned that library officials had some concerns about the possibility of a story in The Times. A call was made to the county library's official spokesman, Ken Kramer. Faced with the possibility of an upbeat feature celebrating a hip, funny employee whose night job included stand-up bits in which she promoted the library, Kramer offered that she could go ahead with the interview, but she couldn't say that she was a page at the West Hollywood branch.
Given her PR experience, Myers was baffled, but prepared to comply. The next day, her day off, she did an interview with Lelyveld and explained the restrictions imposed by Kramer. She then accompanied Lelyveld on a brief walk through the library, which Lelyveld was naturally curious about. Lelyveld later called Kramer to see if he'd reconsider the limits he'd placed on the story. Not only did he refuse to budge, but within an hour of the phone call, Myers was notified by her supervisors that she'd been removed from the work schedule and would receive a letter in the mail the next day.
"This is a notice that you are being released from your temporary position of Library Page," the letter read.
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