Since moving to W.TN, the Library here has been one big disappointment. Extremely lacking to say the least. I was a bit surprised to see that Bartlett has a NEW Library. The surprise comes after just a few months ago, reading that Mayor Henrenton of Memphis had proposed to close several Library locations, yet Bartlett, part of the system has a new Library.
Memphis Mayor Wants To Close Five Libraries
Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton wants to close five of 19 branches of the Memphis Public Library and Information Center, telling the City Council that the move—along with closings of four community centers—would save $1.5 million to $2 million a year. It's all part of a "repositioning of city assets" requiring more "hard decisions," Herenton said, according to the Commercial Appeal.
The announcement, on top of Herenton’s previous decision to appoint two nonlibrarians at the helm of the library, drew a firestorm of criticism in online comments and likely will engender debate before approval by City Council. The newspaper editorialized that, while “Herenton described the buildings as underused, deteriorating assets,” in nearly every case, they are neighborhood anchors. Some online commenters suggested that the announced closures were aimed to generate support for a tax increase.
Full article click here.
The new Bartlett library was easy to find and I did find a couple of books to review. It is all fresh inside, the new smell overwhelming, if you have allergies to new carpets and smells, I wouldn't visit anytime soon. However, everyone was nice and helpful. I picked up a paper flyer called "Come in & Read". Inside, is a quote from Bartlett Mayor A. Keith McDonald: "If a community is going to thrive, the public in that municipality has to continue to hone its skills, and that requries education. And the library is the best tool for continuing education and using people's minds."
New Bartlett library has more space, books
The $3.7 million Bartlett Public Library at 5884 Stage is about a mile west of the former location next to City Hall. At 20,000 square feet, the library at Bartlett Station Municipal Center is about twice the size of the old facility.
Read the complete article on the April opening, click here.
TN Library Association doesn't seem to think too much of Mayor Herenton's choice of NON-Librarian leaders. Seems to be a political move, rather than a wise one.
TN Library Association Criticizes Memphis Mayor for Hiring Nonlibrarian Leaders
In an open letter to Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, the Tennessee Library Association (TLA) called his recent dismissal of longtime Memphis Public Library and Information Center Director Judith Drescher “a slap in the face” to library staff, given that “two political appointees, without any library science or library technology education, without any professional experience in libraries, without any experience in managing library staff,” are now heading a library which “gained a national reputation as one of the best in the country under Judith Drescher’s leadership.” The TLA criticized the mayor's failure to conduct a national search for Drescher’s replacement.
Eyebrows were raised in December when the seemingly sudden retirement of Drescher and two colleagues was announced. After all, Drescher had just led the library to win a National Medal of Museum and Library Service, awarded by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), in part for such innovations as the establishment of a 2-1-1 call center for community information. Herenton appointed as director Keenon McCloy, the city's director of public services and neighborhoods. Then the mayor appointed Michael Gray, a retired deputy director in public services and neighborhoods and former mayoral bodyguard, as deputy director. McCloy, not Drescher, attended the mid-January ceremony in which First Lady Laura Bush presented the IMLS award.
Click here for more.
If you decide visit the NEW Bartlett library here is some information for you:
Address: 5884 Stage Rd. Bartett, TN 38134
Phone: (901) 386-8968