Employment & Work Stories

Judge dismisses discrimination, defamation claims by former Lexington library CEO

Judge dismisses discrimination, defamation claims by former Lexington library CEO
A Fayette Circuit Court judge has thrown out former Lexington Public Library chief executive Kathleen Imhoff's claims that she was discriminated against due to her gender and defamed following the termination of her employment in 2009.

However, Imhoff's third claim — that her employment contract was violated — still stands.

What not to study: The 20 university degrees with the highest unemployment rates

Obviously, your choice of degree affects your employability. There are other factors to consider, such as the popularity of the degree and the earning potential - all of which you can view here. But for a simple look, below are the 20 highest and lowest unemployment rates by degree."

Graduates of "library science," it seems, have one of the highest rates of unemployment. The post is based on 2010 Census data (via the Wall Street Journal). More...

[Thanks Von!]

A Pyschologically Healthy Library

The Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library recently received the Psychologically Healthy Workplace award from the Ohio Psychological Association. Leslie Hartley, adult services manager, accepted the award on behalf of the library. Kudos!

The application process for this award was part of the library’s ongoing wellness initiative, spearheaded by Hartley.

“The evaluation team was impressed by the library staff’s quick recovery and teamwork following the widespread economic meltdown of 2009, and their success in rebuilding their work teams and service model,” said Hartley.

The library’s award-winning wellness initiative, also recognized by Ohio, includes a demonstration garden, nutrition and exercise information, participation in charity events such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bowl-a-Thon and several 5K runs, and inclusion of the broader community in the library’s wellness activities.

The library’s wellness program is being nominated for a national Psychologically Healthy Workplace award as well.

Story from Chillicothe Gazette.

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.

Do Salt Lake City Librarians Have a Censorship Problem?

Salt Lake City Library employees say the latest chapter on staff turmoil is rich with irony: a clampdown on free speech inside the very institution that celebrates the principle.

A just-launched crackdown on any opinionated email — and on criticism of management expressed via social media — has some veteran librarians fearing for their jobs and a chorus of others crying censorship.

Even Friends of the Library members are openly questioning the library’s direction and its “chronic problems.”

The uproar started last week after the human resources manager unveiled new guidelines for all-staff email. It is only appropriate, Shelly Chapman wrote, to send pertinent, work-related information such as available shifts and job announcements. “It was also determined,” Chapman wrote, “that employees would not use all-staff email to voice opinions or express concerns.”

“Appropriate” all-staff email must be reviewed by two staffers before sending, the edict reads. And “any other” all-staff email must be approved by the employee’s manager.

That prompted veteran librarian Ranae Pierce — via an all-staff email — to point out the irony of the rule, given the library’s free-speech mission. Story from the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Librarian Tells It As She Sees It, is Fired, and Sues

Maybe you've blogged about a disturbing patron, or posted something on a tumblr account about the not-quite-with-it daily visitor to your library.

From M (Michigan) Live: Former library assistant Sally Stern-Hamilton (under the pen name Anne Miketa) wrote a fictionalized book about about her experiences in the library and was fired for it. Now she's suing.

Stern-Hamilton’s literary work, entitled 'Library Diaries' — a disturbing look at life in the library — wound up on the shelves at Mason County District Library. It got her fired there as a library assistant.

Now the author has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the library violated her free-speech rights by firing her.

“(Stern-Hamilton’s) First Amendment interests, combined with the interests of the public, outweigh the government’s interest in the efficient performance of the workplace,” her attorney, David Blanchard wrote. “(She) was explicitly fired for engaging in protected speech.”

Library director Robert Dickson declined to comment. Attorney Kathleen Klaus, representing the library, Dickson, and Marilyn Bannon, president of the library board, said she would respond to the complaint next month. The controversy created headlines three years ago when Stern-Hamilton was fired from her job of 14 years.

"After working at a public library in a small, rural Midwestern town (which I will refer to as Denialville, Michigan, throughout this book) for 15 years, I have encountered strains and variations of crazy I didn’t know existed in such significant portions of our population,” Stern-Hamilton wrote in the introduction.

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. http://www.lowellsun.com/ci_18475557 This is the latest story in a series of incidents at the Pollard Library regarding safety issues or staff conflicts.

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.


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