Volume 93, Issue 31

Tuesday, October 26, 1999


CASA campaign leaves mark

Western falls victim to vandalism once again

Skidmore named library's CEO

New institute means more cash

UBC prof condemns web filters

Thefts-a-plenty plague campus

Caught on campus


Skidmore named library's CEO

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

Experienced persons need not have applied is the message which may have been received after the London Public Library system appointed Darrel Skidmore as their new chief executive officer.

"I'm the first to acknowledge that I do not have the professional expertise in library training," Skidmore said.

However, he added he has a wealth of experience in the community and a comprehensive background in education. "I believe I bring a whole set of skills to the CEO," Skidmore said. "I also have committed to spend some time with professional librarians."

Bernd Frohmann, a professor in the faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western, said Skidmore's tenure, which began last week, is a move which devalues one of the finest Masters of library and information science programs on the continent.

"It's absurd," Frohmann said. "I believe if someone is going to be a head of a library system, they have to have the qualifications. His background is in education."

Frohmann said he wrote a letter to The London Free Press, published Thursday, outlining his concerns. "I was thinking of the students when I wrote this letter," Frohmann said. "Librarianship is undervalued. It's kind of depressing."

Skidmore explained his skills in managing and developing community relations were essential, adding he brings to the job what the position is presently in need of.

Skidmore also said he has received a very positive and encouraging community response.

"I'm certainly not questioning his background in education," Frohmann said. "But one has to have some training in the kind of institution they're running – and he has none." Frohmann added Skidmore's managerial skills were not sufficient to head the library system.

Mary Ann Mavrinac, head of The D.B. Weldon Library at Western and board member of the London Public Library system, said due process was involved when Skidmore was hired. She explained the position was advertised and two rounds of applicants were interviewed before Skidmore was selected.

"There were specific qualifications that were in the ad and basically he was interviewed," she said.

Gord Hume, chair of the London Public Library Board, said he defended Skidmore's appointment to CEO.

"He has a distinguished career in education," Hume said, adding Skidmore was selected after two national searches. "He understands dealing with boards and dealing with the community. He provides a great vision – a community outreach."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999