Library Subversion | Letters | Chicago Reader

Library Subversion 

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Dear sir:

Mary Dempsey is certainly not qualified for appointment as the Library Commissioner with only three years' experience as a librarian [Neighborhood News, February 4]. "Library Commissioner" is the title given since 1977 to the statutory "qualified librarian," and that is the only appointive authority granted to the Library Board under the Illinois library laws.

Starting in 1985 the Board began to appoint nonlibrarians. These are criminal enactments exceeding the authority granted by law. The State's Attorney, whose name is presently Jack O'Malley, condones this corruption, as did his predecessors.

It is obvious from the Reader story that Dempsey's main qualification was as a crony of the current mayor's chief of staff. The mayor is crony- crazy, and these cronies mean more to him than the welfare of the city. It is my belief that one cause of the 1992 Loop flood was the mayor's sundering of the Department of Public Works to elevate a valued, but unqualified crony to a commissioner's post.

Both Dempsey and Karen Danczak-Lyons before her were recommended to the Library Board by the current mayor, who is thereby proven to be a condoner and promoter of corruption. He also qualifies as a library destroyer for his work with Danczak-Lyons in which the Municipal Reference Library was effectively destroyed by underfunding in the otherwise wasteful 1993 Budget.

The library patrons of Chicago are entitled to a well-qualified career librarian in charge, and probably quite a few of our staff librarians of long experience would be far better than Dempsey or any of the illegals dating back to 1985. But first library patrons will have to get the State's Attorney to get rid of the Library Board crooks, or the subversion that began with the installation of art galleries in 1975 will continue.

Stuart Simon

Chicago

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