Friday, April 3, 2015

Card expired: The head of the Library of Congress must go; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4/3/15

Editorial Board, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Card expired: The head of the Library of Congress must go:
"In a scathing report issued this week, the federal watchdog agency assigned much of the blame for the library’s inefficiency to director James H. Billington, an 85-year-old Ronald Reagan appointee who rarely uses a cell phone, does not use email and does not keep abreast of technological change. Mr. Billington’s annual salary is $179,700, so his reluctance to step down is partly understandable.
But the Library of Congress has a $630 million annual budget and 3,200 employees whose primary task is to run the Copyright Office and provide Congress with research and legal advice. Among the problems identified in the GAO report is the institution’s lack of a chief information officer.
Mr. Billington and his lieutenants have not moved to appoint anyone to this crucial role. They continue to run what is supposed to be one of the most important sources of information in the nation as if it were a neglected school library in rural America. The library doesn’t keep track of costs or log or respond to complaints...
Mr. Billington should retire honorably and make way, after three decades, for fresh, tech-savvy management."

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