Saturday, 25 July 2009

Lexington Public Library CEO fired

'tell truth' by arimooreThere was a recent article in the Library Journal about the dismissal of the head of the public library system in Lexington, Kentucky. Without much information, which is kind of the point of this article, it's hard to really take sides but there are two points that jump out at me when discussing something like this.

Firstly, the CEO makes some pretty strongly negative claims about the behaviour of the local newspaper and their role in all this. As I've said before, I've never been too impressed with most "professional" journalists. They seem more interested in selling papers than disseminating information. Honestly, if it comes down to a librarian's word versus a journalist's word, all else being held equal, I'd have to pick the side of the librarian, despite my obvious bias.

Also, one of the criticisms of the article and the CEO is that she was fired with no explanation. What on earth is that? What kind of open and transparent government runs things like that (rhetorical question, thank you)? I've always thought that very few, at least in an official sense and regarding important issues, decisions should be made without a specified and sufficient reason. Voting? You should have to write at least a couple paragraphs as to why you think this party or this candidate is better than the other(s). Government decisions? Whole reports could be provided explaining the reasoning and the consideration of other possibilities and options. Ethical beliefs? Well, its certainly got to include something more than, "it seems like the right thing to do." Without some clarification of our actions that will affect others to a meaningful degree, we're just animals (which is exactly what we are but nonetheless), which is not what we WANT to be. We seem to like to consider ourselves somewhat more advanced, somewhat more conscious, somewhat more enlightened. Setting aside any arguments as to whether we are or not, we should at least act like what we want to appear as.

What do you think? Am I being too hard on journalism? And should we really be held to account for our actions in some "literal" way?

[ From Lexington PL CEO Imhoff Fired; Threatens Suit, Criticizes Newspaper Coverage by Norman Oder at Library Journal ]

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