Employment & Work Stories

Librarians under city scrutiny for e-chat

Two members of the Pollard Memorial Library staff in Lowell, MA, are being investigated by city officials for expressing their frustrations with a coworker. During an IM chat, they discussed, apparently in jest, covering for each other if the coworker was found dead.


Anonymous cover letters from hired librarians and archivists

Anonymous cover letters from hired librarians & archivists
Open Cover Letters

Are you currently applying for jobs in libraries or archives? This website hopes to open up the mysterious world of hiring by making real cover letters open to the public, with personal information redacted.

A big special Thank You to all the early cover letter contributors! You are responsible for helping to get this website off the ground.

If you currently have a job and would like to submit a cover letter that got an interview to this website, please email [email protected]. I and many other people will be very thankful.

Don’t forget to follow @opencoverletter on Twitter for updates.


22 Librarians paid more than governors

More than 77,000 federal government employees throughout the country — including computer operators, more than 5,000 air traffic controllers, 22 librarians and one interior designer — earned more than the governors of the states in which they work.
77,000 federal workers paid more than governors
[Thanks Dan!]

Salt Lake City Staffers Unhappy With Their Director

The Salt Lake Tribune reports: For the second consecutive public meeting, Salt Lake City Public Library Director Beth Elder was assailed by employees, who argued her methods are tyrannical, managers are "miserable" and that morale is plummeting.

"That might be the most poisonous thing we’re seeing," 15-year associate librarian Mike Nordenstrom told a rapt Library Board on Thursday in a Main Library conference room that echoed with applause and hoots after each successive speaker.

"Why doesn’t the board investigate reports of intimidation and retaliation?" asked Candy Markle, a library assistant at the Sprague branch. "Given the lack of employee confidence in Ms. Elder, as well as the current public-relations crisis over her decisions, how is the board going to successfully sell the public on a tax increase this year for the new branches? Has she been a successful leader? Has the reputation of the library improved under her supervision?"

Board members sat mostly silent during the onslaught, while Elder fidgeted in her chair. Multiple speakers also rattled off a list of longtime employees who recently retired or resigned from the public resource hub that won the 2006 Library of the Year award.

Vt. woman facing charges for overdue library items

Vt. woman facing charges for overdue library items
A Vermont woman is facing charges that she failed to return hundreds of dollars' worth of books and videos from the library.

State Police say the 35-year-old woman from Concord has been cited on a charge of theft of rented property

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Announces Management Changes for Upcoming Year

Charlotte, NC – January 19, 2011 – In a proactive move to position itself for the FY 2012 budget and the recommendations of the Future of the Library Task Force this spring, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board has approved interim changes in the Library’s executive management structure.

Charles Brown, who has served as Director of Libraries for the past seven years, has announced plans to leave the system at the end of the fiscal year in June. He will remain with the Library in a management role until that time, assisting with daily operations and system changes as needed.

Vick Phillips, an experienced executive who once served as chief of staff for former Bank of America Chairman and CEO Hugh McColl, will join the Library as an interim Chief Executive Officer during the transition. Phillips will play a lead role in daily and strategic operations for the Library while he also guides the Library’s budget planning process and prepares the organization for the Task Force’s recommendations.

“The Library is entering a new chapter, and we feel that Vick Phillips’ leadership, along with the experience and knowledge of Charles Brown, will help ensure an even higher level of success in implementing recommended changes for the future,” says Robin Branstrom, chair of the Library Board. More coverage from the Charlotte Observer.

Shuffling Away from Buffalo...to Queens

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - One day after announcing she would be leaving her post at the end of her contract, Buffalo and Erie County Library Director Bridget Quinn-Carey has accepted a job in Queens.

The Library Board announced Tuesday that Quinn-Carey would leave her post at the end of her three-year contract on March 4th. Quinn-Carey has now accepted a job with the library system in Queens. For nearly three years she's overseen the libraries as they dealt with major budget cuts. She told "Business First," she doesn't blame the money crunch for her departure. Additional coverage on Quinn-Carey's move here (whoa, she's 'commuting' from Buffalo to NYC).

Does there seem to be more movement among library directors as of late?

Check Out Your Employees

This is pretty low.
Dateline: SPARTA, NJ : A Lake Hopatcong woman who served as an assistant librarian at the Sparta Public Library was charged with pocketing $529 of fees collected for overdue books and lost book replacements over the past two years, police said.

Susan Simovich, 56, was charged with one count of third-degree theft of movable property on Saturday, said Sparta Police Sgt. John-Paul Beebe, a department spokesman.

Library officials began noticing discrepancies occurring in the tally sheets of fine money and the actual monies on hand on Oct. 1, 2008, Beebe said.

Sparta Police were notified of the ongoing discrepancies on July 9, 2010, and Simovich was charged after a lengthy investigation, he said. She was released, pending a Municipal Court appearance on Nov. 8, he said.

Simovich, who worked at the library for about three years, was interviewed at headquarters last Tuesday and admitted to taking $529 of the fine money over the two-year period that the discrepancies began, Beebe said.

Am I sorry I became a librarian? No, but....

Am I sorry I became a librarian? No, but....

So, am I sorry I became a librarian? No. Am I sorry about some of the bullshit and outright rudeness, disrespect, and other nonsense I get from the higher ups? Yes, but sadly it is not something I can really change so I just take it a day at a time. In the end, some days are better than others. Sensei Girl and I have our successes, and we have our off days. In the end, it is about those we serve. We are happy letting someone else run the library; we just hope they don't run it to the ground.

NPR's Longtime Librarian Kee Malesky Writes a Book

Interesting profile of NPR's longest-serving librarian (over twenty years) who has fielded questions for NPR reporters, editors and hosts. She has compiled some of her favorite bits of "inessential knowledge" — such as which building did Elvis leave last? -- in a new book, All Facts Considered.

All Facts Considered: The Essential Library Of Inessential Knowledge
By Kee Malesky, Hardcover, 288 pages, Wiley List price: $19.95

Check out these 'odd queries': during her two decades of service in the NPR reference library, reporters have asked Malesky to look up some fairly obscure, though fascinating pieces of information.

The first non-Native American to set foot in what is now Chicago?

That would be an African man from Haiti by the name of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, whose trading post was the first permanent dwelling there. Chicago has since named a high school after him, which few residents can properly pronounce.

And how about the "the rockets' red glare" referenced in the Star-Spangled Banner? Where exactly did the red glare come from?

The British army's Congreve rockets, Malesky explains. They were effectively very large bottle rockets — the kind you might set off in your backyard on July 4 — but in the early 1800s, they were a novel development in weaponry.

And watermelons — fruit or vegetable?


Subscribe to Employment & Work Stories