Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Gwinnett County Soap Opera

In the middle of my busy day I stumbled upon an article about the Gwinnett County LIbrary Director. Apparently, the library director's salary is $127,000 per year. Yes, library directors are making half of what the the President of the United States makes.

When I brought this up with fellow Gwinnettians, the look of shock, awe, and lastly disgust were repetitive. Followed by the question, 'What does a library director do?'

"You! Yes you. Put that book back in it's place!"
"If I have to shush you one mo' 'gain, so help me I will revoke your microfiche privileges!!!"
"DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM!! What part of Dewey don't you understand!!!!"

Now, the article wasn't about the salary raked in by JoAnn Pinder. It was about the prospect of her getting fired. Fired not because of performance after apparently 15 years of providing literary ecstasy to millions. Nope, fired because Phyllis Oxendine, a board member, has haterade pulsing through her veins. Phyllis, ya see, she don't like JoAnn and we think it's 'cause of some mess years ago when Phyllis toiled in the library system. So now that Phyllis is a big wig, relatively speaking, she has recruited two other members to her side to oust not only JoAnn but many others as well, probably for being associated with JoAnn. It's kind of like a bookworm driveby. Phyllis is shooting for JoAnn but she'll take anyone close to her as well.

Now as a member of the soon to be outsourced, I must say that I sympathize with JoAnn. No one should lose a job because of personal vendettas, unless of course you work for the mafia. The sad part is that one of the three hitmen hitpersons on the board is a new member. She just joined last month so it's very likely that Phyllis is straight using the newbie for her personal agenda....ah the politics of it all!!!!!


Anonymous said...

They fired her last night. It was horrible. To drag someone through the mud the way Jo Ann was. Woe unto those who led the cause - Phyllis Oxendine. How can Phyllis sleep at night?

Anonymous said...

I'm a library student way out west and admire directors who stand up for intellectual curiosity and freedom, who work hard with too little resources to meet the needs of the communities they serve. I don't pretend to know all the ins and outs behind this particular battle, but if any board fires someone without cause, that tells me right off that they did not have a principled leg to stand on.

Anonymous said...

As always there is more to any story than meets the eye. Pinder is, and has been throughout her career, one of the most despised administrators in the library profession. She is intolerant, arrogant, and totally devoid of any people skills. She is ruthless in her pursuit of her"vision" and just simply will not even go to the extent of trying to retrain her rudeness toward staff and anyone in the public who disagrees with her. There are many out in "libraryland" who are not suprised that this has happened...the only suprise is that it didn't happen sooner. This is the second major job she has been fired from (the first she was asked to "resign"...which she did. She was asked to leave because her relations with the staff had deterioated so badly as to be beyond repair.) Whatever Christian Right buzzsaw Pinder ran into in Gwinnett County was of her own making. The library "spin" machine is going to try to make her out as a martyr to the CHristian Right, but librray directors deal with them all the time. Pinder's inability to get along with people who disagree with her about ANYTHING is legendary in the library field.

Anonymous said...

Well said! Ms Pinder is well known among librarians for her ferocious temper and her penchant for humiliating people who have a different point of view. She is out of control in her fury and it's not suprising that folks organized to get rid of her. And it is true that it has happened before.

Anonymous said...

The news of Jo Ann Pinder's firing was truly the best news I have heard in a long time. I applaud this library board for their courage to do what should have been done long ago. I am a former employee who almost had a nervous breakdown because of Pinder and I have spent many years since my employment there just trying to forget the experience. The years I spent working for her were the most miserable I have ever spent on any job. And the sad thing is that my experience was not mine alone but that of many, many other good people. I watched as she went after employee after employee until she had either fired them, demoted them, humiliated them, or they left the system. Her rages and tantrums were unbelievable and when they were directed at you it was the most frightening experience you can imagine. My stomach used to literally sink to my toes when she would appear. You never knew when she would explode about the most inconsequential thing. I hope that now that she is gone the atmosphere of the library will improve but unfortunately I think she hired or kept staff that she created in her image.