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Micromanagement results in loss of best librarians

To the Editor:

Recently, we experienced the loss of one of our best, friendliest, most conscientious librarians.

There is a book entitled “The Peter Principle.” Its premise is that growing American businesses often promote people to their highest level of incompetence. Mediocre mid-level managers of either sex get promoted to upper-level management becoming even less productive.



Perhaps “The Petra Principle” is in effect at the library. In this case, “Peter” has been renamed as the feminine, “Petra,” simply because the librarians are women, not men. Also the library hasn’t grown into the projected size depicted by the model on its wall.

In the past 16 years I’ve been a regular, often weekly, patron of the library. I’ve seen some of the best librarians leave. The catalog information has been removed from Marmot Global Catalog. We can no longer use the Web to research availability of books such as “The Peter Principle.” Nor can we check online for overdue books. Now, we must go to the library or call by phone instead.



Has micromanagement of library staff resulted in the loss of some of our best, most personable librarians?

Some remaining librarians still spend considerable time on the job talking, person-to-person or by phone. They include one (a member of management?) who once discussed after hour use of a library computer — to access the Internet –with her date/boy-friend/significant-other. This occurred while she was at work! Others now seem uncomfortable after losing fellow librarians.

I wonder if “The Petra Principle” hasn’t recently rendered the Craig-Moffat County Library less “user-friendly” than it was for many years. And, I wonder what steps we should take to reverse “The Petra Principle” and to reverse the downward spiral in which the library may be trapped.

John E. Lawton,

Craig


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