IMCPL chief in line for Kansas job

Full story: The Indianapolis Star

The Kansas City Star is reporting that Linda Mielke, the chief executive officer of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, is a finalist for a job in suburban Kansas City.
Comments
1 - 20 of 20 Comments Last updated Sep 15, 2012
Library Fan

Indianapolis, IN

#1 Nov 10, 2006
Until we start treating out library directors like human beings, they'll come and go forever.

Get up off your duff and go to your own resarch files...it wasn't "several years" ago---it was spring, 2004. Easily determined.

Lazy reporting.
Jen

Chicago, IL

#2 Nov 10, 2006
Dont let the door hit you in the a** on your way out!!! Linda Mielke. Now with her hopefully gone maybe the library could focus less on dvd's and more on getting new books. If I wanted to go get a dvd I would go to a Video store not the Library. I use to enjoy the Library but anymore its a bunch of Indian's complaining and shoving people out of the way for DVD's. Get a life people!! The other thing is I cant wait until the Library gets done with the (downtown library) there over the top toilet for the homeless people . Im soooo getting tired of hearing about they are over there budget we need money from the city/state for this and that etc... The only real people who are going to find it beneficial is the homeless who, pee and sleep around the library. Sorry got off the subject. Heres hoping Mielke gets the job and we get someone in there who can turn the library around for the better.
Thanks
library patron

Indianapolis, IN

#3 Nov 10, 2006
Linda Mielke was started at IMCPL in Sept. 2004. Since when is 2 years "several?"
Former Staff Member

Indianapolis, IN

#4 Nov 10, 2006
Good! Anything we can do to ensure she gets it before she totally ruins our system?
Library Worker

Cincinnati, OH

#5 Nov 10, 2006
As someone who has suffered through this woman's incompetent stewardship of the library for the last two years, I welcome this news. In response to the previous poster, let me just remind you that treating people like human beings works both ways.

I will grant you that Ms. Mielke was thrust into difficult circumstances at IMCPL, but a good library director would know how to motivate staff to work through tough times. This one basically blew into town, treated us all like a bunch of ignorant clodhoppers and told us that our collective experience had no value. On the one hand she tries to emphasize how important libraries are, yet insults us by stating that librarians are irrelevant because "you can just Google anything you want." I have never met anyone with so little respect for their chosen profession. In many tangible ways she has diminished the library system that many of us have given years of our lives trying to make a better institution. Before chalking this up to the comments of just another disgruntled worker, ask yourself how you would feel in this position. Not all changes are positive, no matter how busy or important this administration feels it needs to look while implementing them.
Todd

New York, NY

#6 Nov 10, 2006
From what I know, Linda Mielke treated the library staff of IMCPL like garbage, and she was big on outsourcing processing and cataloging of new materials. In my opinion she's the biggest failure of the IMCPL in recent years. I hope she goes, and goes quick!
fmr wkr_library user

AOL

#7 Nov 10, 2006
Granted, I want her gone. However, no library system deserves this. The previous systems she worked for had very few nice things to say. Our system has deteriorated so rapidly in the past two years. The library system was one of the main reasons we stayed in Marion Co. Now, we are looking to leave. I was practically raised at the Haughville Library and had my 1st job there. Now that I take my kids to Pike, we don't spend much time there b/c the books they want and need aren't there. It's easier to online search and hold or go to B&N or Borders. Family programs for working families are scarce. Bookmobile is gone, all books do not have a "home" but circulate among the branches, there are more current movies and best sellers than classics. I can't even get books for my son's recommended reading list for school!!! If she stays, I go, but poor Kansas.
A ray of hope

Nineveh, IN

#8 Nov 10, 2006
Good luck in your interview Linda! If we in IMCPL find ourselves in the hunt for a new Director, I hope we get one who can wisely make the tough decisions, AND ADDITIONALLY project an attitude of caring about the professionals affected by those same tough decisions.
I think it is good

United States

#9 Nov 10, 2006
that she is going -- but why would Johnson County want her ??

I never heard one thing good from reporting nor from employees.

BUT now the question is who will be willing to take on this poor beleagured library system with it's not new building???
A Sad Situation

Pleasanton, CA

#10 Nov 12, 2006
This woman has serious problems. She's a proven racist. She has eliminated staff from the only two African-American run departments at IMCPL, and nowhere else. She can't work with or cope with black people. In addition she has cut services to people who need it most - the elderly, the adult literacy community and others. She totally disrespects the staff and demeans them at every opportunity. She has become the sole cause for staff being required to form a union to try to get just a small amount of respect.

Let her leave and we will all throw a big party. No one - absolutely no one - except perhaps Mr. Mahern - will miss this woman. She has ruined IMCPL for years to come. The only others to cause such harm to IMCPL is the City-County Council for not giving the library the budget it needs to operate efficiently and appropriately.

Now, lets find a way to rid the library board of Mr. Mahern and let the citizens of Indianapolis take their library back from these incompetent people.
My Opinion

United States

#11 Nov 13, 2006
A Sad Situation wrote:
This woman has serious problems. She's a proven racist. She has eliminated staff from the only two African-American run departments at IMCPL, and nowhere else. She can't work with or cope with black people. In addition she has cut services to people who need it most - the elderly, the adult literacy community and others. She totally disrespects the staff and demeans them at every opportunity. She has become the sole cause for staff being required to form a union to try to get just a small amount of respect.
Let her leave and we will all throw a big party. No one - absolutely no one - except perhaps Mr. Mahern - will miss this woman. She has ruined IMCPL for years to come. The only others to cause such harm to IMCPL is the City-County Council for not giving the library the budget it needs to operate efficiently and appropriately.
Now, lets find a way to rid the library board of Mr. Mahern and let the citizens of Indianapolis take their library back from these incompetent people.
Johnson county Kansas is a pretty white suburban bedroom community. Let's hope they love her.
Dorothyetta Michaelson

New York, NY

#12 Nov 20, 2006
Ms. Mielke is nothing but a racist KKK member who burns crosses in her posh office.
Laurie

Cincinnati, OH

#13 Jul 30, 2007
What has happened with IMCPL since? Please let us know! Is it still concentrating on bestsellers and DVDs? This is what seems to be happening to Cincinnati's main library.
ReadBetweenTheLi nes

United States

#14 Jan 6, 2010
Linda Mielke's certainly Butte County, California's problem now - the only voices she listens to or respects are the ones she hears in her own head. And what voices they are! Forget people skills, the woman has no real 21st Century knowledge as to how libraries operate - she'll outsource every functional working task to commercial vendors to hide the fact that she is incapable of making decisions. If the Board of Supervisors is foolish enough to give Mielke a blank check, she'll finish off the public library system once and for all. As for the Friends Of The Library - all she wants is for them to unconditionally hand over their wallets so she can enter into $100,000 contract to buy DVDs to rent to patrons. Mielke's direct quote in response to extensive patron surveys: "The public is full of b**llsh*t - they don't know what the hell they want." If anyone out there needs to shut down their library system and install a self-serve Redbox DVD kiosk next to a Coke machine to fulfill their legal charter with the public, have we got the right person for you! Take her off our hands, please.
Library lover

Chico, CA

#15 Aug 19, 2010
Linda Mielke is rapidly ruining the Butte County Library. Tension, turmoil, frustration run rampant among staff. Staff are constantly belittled and badgered incessantly and now leaving the system. Staff have been encouraged to spy on each other to win her favor. Everything is being outsourced. Everything is disrupted. She displays no knowledge whatsoever about library operations, and has no communication or management skills at all. Absolutely no collegiality. Discussion to her is "this is the way we are going to do it." The employee unions and county Human Resources are constantgly engaged in one grievances and hearings on a weekly basis. Ongoing cases involve several staff at a time.
Oh boy

San Francisco, CA

#16 Jan 16, 2011
Library lover wrote:
Linda Mielke is rapidly ruining the Butte County Library. Tension, turmoil, frustration run rampant among staff. Staff are constantly belittled and badgered incessantly and now leaving the system. Staff have been encouraged to spy on each other to win her favor. Everything is being outsourced. Everything is disrupted. She displays no knowledge whatsoever about library operations, and has no communication or management skills at all. Absolutely no collegiality. Discussion to her is "this is the way we are going to do it." The employee unions and county Human Resources are constantgly engaged in one grievances and hearings on a weekly basis. Ongoing cases involve several staff at a time.
What a situation that sounds like!
ny library lover

Jamestown, NY

#17 Feb 25, 2012
How can we get her out of our library! Such destruction at break neck speed! Our community has never seen the likes of this before and the public is starting to come awake. Pray for Jamestown, NY and the Chautauqua/Cattaraugus Library System
jamestown library users

Oneonta, NY

#18 Mar 4, 2012
Can anyone provide detailed information on Mielke during the time she spent in your community as library director? We want to know about it. We are looking for employees, board members and patrons of the library system during Mielke's time there. We want to share this info with our community so that it is aware of her management style as it relates to running the library in Jamestown, N.Y. For more information, email saveourlibrary14701@gmail.com
Trudy

Jamestown, NY

#20 Sep 15, 2012
One of the greatest concerns is, "what happens next?". Although Ms Mielke is gone, some of her policies and leadership traits remain. It seems that Linda learned much from her previous library scrums. She learned that most of the difficulties she would face in her efforts to radically shift the library would come from the established and seasoned professionals residing in department head positions. This had happened before. So upon taking the role as director, Linda embarked on an effort to remove existing leadership, replacing them with others who could see things her way. Her leadership was characterized by intimidation, abuse of power, and contextual ignorance, traits her new associates readily adopted. These things together created a toxic work environment rife with mistrust and fear. The staff were almost immediately polarized. One of those who ascended to leadership under Ms Mielke continues to abuse employees by conducting psychological analysis of their personalities, labeling them and using such to impose discipline. This is a reprehensible for of abuse certainly outside the parameters of those in library supervision. But it is characteristic of the exisiting leadership. Relief for the employees of the library rests squarely in the hands of the governing boards. My appeal is for them to act quickly.
ny library lover

Jamestown, NY

#21 Sep 15, 2012
Yes Trudy, I agree. Similar to when Hitler was no longer in the picture, the Nazis still exist. I am very concerned that the small circle that became so enamored with Mielke's sick leadership are still so enraptured with their head trip of power that they will not do what is right. Psychological analysis at the hands of a Mielke supporter directed at staff is totally inappropriate and is a way to "hide" their own deficits when it comes to knowledge on how to really run a library. It will become clear to everyone soon enough that the acting director and her "executive committee" do not have the intelligence and healthy cohesive thought to be able to balance the budget and take care of running the library. Unfortunately, right now the dandy trio still thinks they are at a shooting gallery and the remaining staff are the targets.

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