Monday, December 27, 2010

Thank You Mark Linde

The Brockton Enterprise published a brief article about my forthcoming position at the Thomas Crane Library in Quincy. Mark Linde, who served as Chair of the Board of Library Trustees during my of my tenure in Brockton said some very kind words that I really appreciate.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Harry Roger Williams III submits resignation

On December 22, 2010, Harry Roger Williams III, the Library Director for the Brockton Public Library System, notified Margaret E. Mone, Chair of the Board of Library Trustees, of his decision to resign effective February 4, 2011. He was offered, and accepted, appointment by Mayor Thomas P. Koch to the position of Library Director for the Thomas Crane Public Library, in the City of Quincy, Massachusetts.

Williams said, “This was a difficult decision. I will miss working with the Trustees and Mayor Balzotti and the City leadership, as well as the Library Staff, Brockton Library Foundation, our community partners and all the wonderful people who support and use the Brockton Public Library. However, the opportunity to direct a library system in a community with a long record of generous support for the library is very exciting. The only thing that could tempt me to change my current, and very satisfying, work and life situation is such an opportunity, which will allow me to spend more time and energy promoting and advocating for the library that employs me, and for libraries in general.”

Williams is proud of many accomplishments, including renovating the East Branch Library at no cost to City taxpayers; updating dozens of public internet access computers with funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates and Brockton Library Foundations; an NEA-funded Big Read program with FullerCraft and GBSPA; two City Lights fundraisers and a successful poetry series, also with the GBSPA; a grant from the State and Federal LSTA program for “Conversation Circles;” hundreds of programs, most especially many outstanding children’s programs; and tens of thousands of satisfied customers.

Williams told the Trustees, the Mayor and the Library Staff, “You have been tremendously supportive and wonderful advocates for the Library. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with you for over six years. Please be assured that I will do my utmost to leave the Brockton Public Library well organized for an orderly transition.”

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Empathy, not enabling

If this appears twice it's because I tried twice to "publish" it directly from Goodreads and it didn't seem to get posted. Friends know I don't mind repeating myself anyway...
Louder Than WordsLouder Than Words by Joe Navarro

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On page 200 in a section that begins on page 199, “Address Emotions, But Don’t Indulge Them,” Navarro writes “Misery really does love company: excessive emoters distract others, focusing attention on themselves, as coworkers feel they must demonstrate empathy and solidarity. Work is disrupted, and others may even act on the beleaguered employee’s behalf to try to fix things. Not surprisingly, this further entrenches the behavior.” This kind of insight and wise counsel elevates this book far above a mere guide to body language. I enjoyed this book a lot.

View all my reviews

Friday, December 10, 2010

Congratulations Ernest Webby

Former Brockton library director Ernest Webby wins national award - Brockton, MA - The Enterprise

This article by Vicki-Ann Downing was in The Enterprise on December 9th. I tried to share it to Facebook but a "floating" advertisement covered the link so I used the barely-visible Blogger link, which only sends the link above, then copied and pasted the text of the article, and the photo, below.

BROCKTON — Ernest J. Webby Jr., former city library director, was one of three recipients of a prestigious national award given to people who volunteer at presidential libraries.

Webby, accompanied by his wife, Roberta, received the Weidman Outstanding Volunteer Service Award last week during ceremonies at the National Archives in College Park, Md.

Webby, 71, was nominated because of his volunteer work at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Dorchester. The award said he showed “ingenuity and achievement in establishing a program to enhance Web resources.”

A volunteer in the research room, Webby has overseen an effort to publish on the museum’s website all of Kennedy’s speeches, especially those given during the 1960 presidential election campaign.

“Ernest Webby has created and managed a program of mass cooperation for the production of electronic resources to be published on the John F. Kennedy Library’s website,” according to the awards program.

“Using both old and new methods of communication, Ernest has overseen the work of a large, far-flung and constantly changing group of ‘virtual volunteers.’ His project has developed electronic documents that have been used to support other library programs, but he has also produced a new community of individuals directly invested in the library’s goal of providing access to historical materials.”

In addition to volunteering one day a week at the Kennedy library, Webby works part-time at the Newton Free Library, his wife said.

He received a clock as part of the Weidman Award. The Webbys, accompanied by their daughter, Robyn, and her husband, David Bew, were also able to tour the national archives.

Webby worked as director of the Brockton Public Library from 1969 to 1994. He also worked in the Brockton public school libraries before and after that, his wife said.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lobbying for Federal Support

I'm kind of proud of the string of words I put together in a message I just sent to Congressman Stephen F. Lynch. The boilerplate was urging him to support S. 3984, the Senate passed Museum and Library Services Act (MLSA) Reauthorization. This is the source for LSTA (formerly LSCA) funding.
My unique construction of some not-so-unique ideas was this:
Bill Gates popularized the term "The Digital Divide," and we certainly have that in Brockton along with the Literacy Divide, the English-as-a-Second-Language Divide, and the can't-afford-to-buy-books divide. The Brockton Public Library, with its limited municipal funding supplemented by MLSA dollars via our state agency, The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, is a lifeboat, a safe haven, a resource center and a beacon of hope for our citizens. Please urge your House colleagues and leadership to pass this worthy
legislation. Thank you!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Manhattan College News - Brother Justin's Legacy

My father urged me to attend Manhattan College in the sixties partly because he was so impressed with the insightful and effective abritration and guidance he witnessed (as Business agent for a "rogue" Teamsters local that resisted the influence of organized crime) from Brother Justin, who was on Manhattan's faculty. It looks like history has endorsed Dad's opinion of that great man. The
Manhattan Monthly - December 2010 | News Article
Manhattan College Offering New Labor Studies Major
Starting in January 2011, Manhattan College will be offering a new undergraduate labor studies major and minor in the school of arts. The labor studies program will teach critical intellectual skills enabling students to analyze social policy questions and prepare for graduate studies and/or careers in government, labor law, union organization, human resources, teaching and much more.

“I am honored to serve as the first director of the B.A. in labor studies at Manhattan College and that the new program will pay tribute to Brother Justin Brennan, F.S.C., who was the first pioneer of labor education at the College,” said Joseph J. Fahey, Ph.D., professor of religious studies. “As part of our Lasallian tradition, we are committed to social justice for all and this will be further exemplified through the future work of Manhattan’s labor studies graduates.”