Egad! The library is cutting programs? Were these programs identified as having become racist in their attitudes, opinions or behavior? I joke, of course. Or do I? If there has been any clear and substantial WJ documentation of the library’s racist offenses, I must have missed them.
As I noted in an earlier letter, on my experience as a regular library-goer for years, it had become a rather unquiet atmosphere. Teens of all skin colors instinctively acted their age. Homeless people of mixed-raced campers could get rowdy, and at times even threatening. Staff had to intervene at times. These behavioral flare-ups involved mixed races, gender, ages.
Thus my curiosity about the library hiring an equity director. How about a behavioral director/conflict de-escalator? What do I know, though? If one was deemed needed, at the very least it addressed the library’s implied culpability in the current confrontation with our historically, systemically, racist country. Equity is the word of the day, week, month and counting. Fine. Not to mention it is a job creator. That equity director is hauling down what, 80K? 90K?
Regardless of the actual need for this hire, my visits to that same library this season strongly suggests it’s an easy gig. By that I mean, the place is rarely busy with bookworms or boorish patrons. In fact, the place is dead. The problems I saw back when are gone. If racism lingers there, however, it must be very, very subtle. But that’s what that E.D. hire is being paid well to identify and eradicate.
I’ll count on WJ to keep me posted.
Joe Harrington, Oak Park