Phx Friends of UA SIRLS

News and info about librarianship, UA SIRLS, and libraries…

Name game — A librarian should run the library (from Tulsa, OK)

Posted by Editor on November 25, 2009

By World’s Editorial Writers  Published: 11/23/2009  2:28 AM  Last Modified: 11/23/2009  9:20 AM

The Tulsa City-County Library System continues to hunt for a new chief executive officer.Former CEO Linda Saferite announced Aug. 4 that she would be on extended medical leave until she retires in March.


The library board met last week to talk about what its looking for in a new library boss, who will be earning $130,000 to $150,000 a year.

The responsibilities include fundraising, strategic direction and policies, long-range planning and community relations.

Those are important jobs, and we don’t begrudge the planned salary, but the title CEO bothers us.

There’s a name for the chief executive officer of a library — head librarian.

Titles are important. They reflect assumptions and duties to the public.

Chief executive officer is a good title for the bosses of business and industry.

Library bosses are different. The the top person might be the chief, and might be an executive, but the public needs to know the person running the libraries as a librarian. It reflects the traditional elements of what the institution is about.

Interestingly, state law requires that Tulsa’s library director have at least a master’s degree in library science. Not a master’s degree in business administration. There’s a reason for that.

If one of the new CEO’s jobs is indeed community relations, we suggest one of that person’s first actions be a decision to re-brand the job. We don’t want a corporate bigwig running our libraries. We want

a librarian….read entire article here:


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