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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

08/13/08 Boston Shocker: Search for library president narrows down to Mario.


Two of the four candidates vying to become the next president of the Boston Public Library are women, and a third is a longtime leader of a Latino librarians’ organization....

... Amy E. Ryan, library director for Hennepin County, Minn.; and Mario M. Gonzalez, former director of the Greenwich, Conn., library, confirmed they are on the short list of candidates expected to take part in public interviews tomorrow at the central ...

...The full roster is scheduled to be disclosed tomorrow at 8 a.m., when interviews begin in a 50-seat glass-walled auditorium. The eight-member Boston Public Library board of trustees will question each candidate for about an hour, call one or more back for follow-up questions, and then begin deliberations at 3 p.m. If they fail to agree, they could continue deliberations Friday.

The entire process will be open to the public, although no one will be allowed to ask questions or provide input except the trustees. Still, it promises to be one of the most public selection processes for any Boston library chief or official in the Menino administration.

The extraordinary openness follows criticism last fall that the trustees' ouster of the former library president, Bernard A. Margolis, was orchestrated behind closed doors by Mayor Thomas M. Menino....

...Gonzalez spent nine years at the helm of the Greenwich library before resigning in May. The Greenwich library is second in circulation in New England only to Boston. During his tenure, children's programming increased, and the library and its patronage expanded, Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez left because it was time for him to move on and do other things, he said. A local newspaper, the Greenwich Time, reported earlier this year that an outside survey commissioned by the town showed poor morale among his employees. Gonzalez said that after the survey, taken by 24 of his 180 employees, he worked to build morale and improve communication.

He said that he is looking forward to the opportunity to work in "a city of neighborhoods" like Boston. "It's very diverse, and that appeals to me," said Gonzalez, an executive board member of the American Library Association and founder of the New England chapter of Reforma, a Latino librarians' organization....

From A Boston Globe Article


Mario had better hope that the 14-member search committee, which winnowed down a pool of about 160 candidates doesn't read Bill Clark's recent posting in Greenwich Gossip.

Bye, Bye, Mario

After nine years of inept "management", highlighted by the misdeeds of his unsupervised deputy, convicted thief Inga Boudreau, and his own "dictatorial, controlling, and bullying" reign of terror over the rest of the employees, library director Mario Gonzalez has finally thrown in the towel. He and the library board have fought long and hard to try to prevent a recent consultant's report, which detailed the abysmal morale at the library and the reasons therefor, from ever seeing the light of day. But you can't fight that kind of rear-guard action against the truth for very long, and on Tuesday night Mario told the board he was jumping before he was pushed.

Well, perhaps not in those exact words, but that was clearly the general idea. He will be "pursuing other opportunities," the standard formula used to gloss over a forced resignation; what those oppotunities may be and just how, with his blemished reputation, he plans to pursue them is a matter for conjecture. Mario talks optimistically of "other opportunities that will come to my door," but if your scribe were he, he would not be holding his breath.

Meanwhile, the sigh of relief that has gone up from the library staff is clearly audible. Years of tyranny and mismanagement are now behind them, and while the library board has not been noted for its brilliant choices of directors since Nolan Lushington left, there is at least a fighting chance that the next director will not be as obnoxious and inept as Mario and his predecessor Beth Mainiero (whose deputy director also made off with tens of thousands of library dollars and was likewise convicted) have been......

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