1. Entrenched Bureaucratic County Library Administrators

    2. Philosophy of Liberated Librarianship vs. Bureaucracy

    3. Flawed Reclassification of County Librarians in 1989

    4. Unethical Affirmative Action Policy Related to Promotions

    5. Obsolete County Library Administrative Organizational Structure

    6. Dysfunctional and Hypocritical Performance Evaluation Policy


For professional liberated librarians, library bureaucracies represent a substantial challenge. To survive and flourish --- or to die professionally and spiritually!

I believe one of the worst problems in the County Library Department is the entrenched bureaucracy. Professional librarians ("information specialists" or "knowledge workers") who are in the "lower-income" salary levels of the County Civil Service Salary Classification system for librarians, seem to be from the planet Earth --- honest and trustworthy, especially in their "business" relationships with their "customers" who are the public. In contrast, some County Library administrators or "bureaucrats," who are in the "upper-income" levels, seem to be from the planet Pluto --- dishonest and deceptive, especially regarding the implementation and enforcement of proper rating procedures mandated by the County Department of Human Resources ("DHR") in compliance with the County Civil Service Commission Code.

Thus, the professional librarians in the "lower-income" salary levels and the library supervisors and administrators in the "upper-income" salary levels have a solid "bureaucratic barrier" to professional cooperation. From my 30 plus years of continuous employment as a full-time professional librarian in the County of Los Angeles Public Library Department, I have come to the conclusion that our "bureaucratic" library administrators and the "victimized" professional field librarians appear to be separate and unequal --- both in salaries and in professional ethics!"

I think the current "subjective" bureaucratic policy is based upon unworkable dictatorial assumptions, which may have been politically expedient at the time they were created in the 1960s when the Library Department was rapidly expanding, but which are now inefficient and disruptive of the trustworthy professional bond essential for efficient collaborative teamwork and effective mentoring and monitoring among top and regional library administrators and field librarians.

The main problem is that NOBODY IS ACCOUNTABLE for changing (updating) the personnel policies and strategies concerning the Performance Evaluation Management Policy and promotional rating procedures of the County library! I believe the County Library Department's so-called "Human Resources Development" (HRD) officers condone the dehumanizing, and often brutal, emotional abuse of subordinates by administrators and supervisors when they fail to administer and enforce the modern evaluation procedures required by the County Civil Service rules and regulations! I think their refusal to do Performance Evaluations correctly is an "abuse" of their "administrative authority." Also, I think their refusal reduces the effectiveness and efficiency of hard working professional librarians at the "lower-income" salary levels.

To clarify, it appears that top and regional library administrators are NOT ACCOUNTABLE for implementing professional uniform and objective written "Work Standards" and "Rating Standards."

For many years, I have demonstrated in official grievance appeals that library administrators do not comply with the County Civil Service Code rules and regulations regarding the implementation of modern management principles and procedures in their supervision of professional subordinates. They do not follow the required guidelines to do the mandatory ANNUAL performance evaluations, which are assumed to be based upon a "fixed" (written uniform and objective) rating standard. Specifically, they do not comply with the major requirement to do "timely and complete" annual performance evaluations.

Also, they do not do promotional examinations properly since "appraisals of promotability" are supposed to be based upon "timely and complete" performance evaluations. I have objective evidence that both performance evaluations and appraisals of promotability are not done in compliance with the "fixed" rating standard requirement of the Civil Service Code in West County Region, which is intended to measure the "efficiency" of a County employee's work product.

In many instances librarians at the "lower-income" salary levels are SUBSERVIENT to the administrators at the "higher-income" salary levels with their dysfunctional "bureaucratic" administrative habits which distort reality. Specifically, that is what I have attempted to change with my series of grievance actions related to my annual performance evaluations and periodic appeals of my appraisal of promotability examinations.

For thirty years the unprofessional and unlawful practices of the Library Department have been generally condoned by the County Department of Human Resources. Even after a new training initiative to improve the so-called "annual" performance evaluation rating procedures in March of 1998 by County DHR expert trainers, top County Library administrators continue to refuse to make the essential policy changes required to implement a more efficient and professional annual evaluation policy.

Today, I believe subordinate librarians and clerical staff (and even most supervisors) are held in a demeaning kind of "emotional slavery" by an outdated evaluation policy administered by top Library Department officers with their unfounded or unethical assumptions and expectations.

Thus, subordinate librarians, who are charged with the responsibility of providing excellent "free" informational and educational services to our "multi-cultural" customers are constrained and hampered by the obsolete official bureaucratic County Library Department rating procedures regarding performance evaluation management policy and rating procedures.

This fact puts the motivation and productivity of all front line field librarians at risk on a daily basis! It interferes with the ability of professional librarians to provide the highest quality of customer information services to the public because of the continuous erosion of respect between the higher paid bureaucratic supervisors and the lower paid professional subordinate librarians.

When the risk to County Library subordinate employees is lowered self-esteem and the loss of dignity simply because of the inefficient "dictatorial" leadership habits of their supervisors and top administrators, I believe it is time for political and legal intervention to create the long overdue change.

I had always hoped that I could help create positive change in the way annual evaluations and appraisals were conducted in the future. Also, I had always hoped that our "bureaucratic" County Library performance evaluation management policy and rating procedures could be transformed from within. However, in this age of increasingly complex technical, economic and social changes, I now believe that the superficial and hypocritical County Library performance evaluation management policy and appraisal of promotability rating procedures are flawed beyond what top Library administrators can comprehend and, thus, correct by themselves!

Since my efforts to apply professional pressure to encourage change have not worked, I think it is clear that the bureaucratic library administrative "functionaries" who control the personnel policies of the County Library Department may never be willing to change their policy without resort to the ultimate extreme measure of applying political and legal pressure.

I have demonstrated that Library administrators and supervisors have repeatedly violated the written principles in the County Performance Evaluation Rater's Handbook. The official County of Los Angeles manual depicts the proper implementation of the County Civil Service Rules, which are supposed to regulate the relationships between Library Department supervisors and subordinate employees concerning the official way "annual" performance evaluations are implemented.

I think it is time to stop denying the obvious violations and to correct the inadequate and arbitrary bureaucratic so-called "annual" Performance Evaluation and Appraisal of Promotability rating procedures. To accomplish this worthy objective, I think the current dysfunctional administrative priorities and strategies regarding rating procedures must be changed. I think they are caused by and sustained by the incompetence and the neglect of some top library administrators.

I believe that my proposed "corrections" can improve public information services and better motivate all subordinate full-time staff to "EXCEL" in spite of the natural constraints of bureaucracy!

Also, the corrections can provide the essential supportive psychological environment for professional full-time library employees who need protection from the constant threat of the abuse of "administrative authority" due to the lack of accountability regarding the regulation of the rating practices by Library Department top administrators and regional supervisors.

During my grievance hearings regarding the incompetence and negligence of several key Library Department administrators and supervisors regarding the implementation of the Library Department's rating process, top library administrators and middle managers have always denied any mismanagement or negligence, of course, and have always failed to correct the real problems.

My current proposal to change the "annual" performance evaluation management policy and rating procedures of the Library Department will improve the morale of hundreds of County library employees. But, first, I think top County Library administrators must openly admit the seriousness of the problem --- so it can be solved!


The County Library is a large Department with a network of 88 community libraries and a huge budget that I think has been inappropriately allocated to the top and middle ranks, the "higher-income" levels, of administrative staff without requiring efficient professional management knowledge, skills and abilities to coincide with the high degree of arbitrary "Administrative Authority" and the higher salaries which they receive. In short, my experience has demonstrated that they receive extremely high compensation for simply perpetuating old, unworkable, personnel policies which undermine the morale, efficiency and productivity of hundreds of employees at the "lower-income" salary levels of the Library Department's "bureaucratic" organizational structure.

In contrast, the professional values of "liberated" librarians are based upon the belief that every professional public librarian should have the freedom to analyze and influence the professional principles and ethics of his or her library environment through smart thinking, strategic planning and decisive action for change in the policies and procedures of their library Departments. Liberated librarians in the County Library Department prize self-directed learning and self-motivated action on the part of the hundreds of library staff employees who are at the "lower-income" salary levels.

The value orientation of "liberated" librarians includes respect for the principles of "Intellectual Freedom," the "Right to Know" and quality customer information services. This spirit is based solidly on the democratic principle of Equality of Opportunity which is the basis of the evolving American democratic heritage. It respects the principle of scientific analysis and prediction which allows for experimentation and systematic planned policy changes in organizations.

In essence, "liberated" librarianship is "humanistic" because it places the HIGHEST VALUE on creating excellent human relationships. And it relies on the BEST information networks for discovering and obtaining up-to-date information for ALL CUSTOMERS who use County libraries.

All "liberated" librarians are courageous and energetic employees who seek to provide the public with the best possible library services during a time of difficult economic conditions, which have put unprecedented pressures on everybody in the Library Department. These lower-income level library staff members do not merely carry out orders from library administrators, they make critical public service decisions every day mostly with no direct supervision!

Unfortunately, I think our County Library Department has an arbitrary dictatorial "administrative" control structure that is in conflict with the principles of professional "liberated librarianship" and the County's Civil Service Rules and Regulations. The Library Department's bureaucratic "command-and-control" military style authoritarian organizational structure consists of hierarchical ranks" with no specific guidelines for accountability in the highest ranks!

Tragically, the "bureaucratic" Library Department top administrators who now control our large organization have been systematically destroying the professional humanistic values of the librarians working in the "lower-income" salary levels of the official Civil Service Class Specification system of librarians (and clerical support staff) for more than twenty years. The "brain drain" in the 1980s left the County Library organization with "leftovers" who were never trained properly to be "effective" or "efficient" creative library leaders (or "supervisors") during that time of great social and technical changes. The loss of many ambitious and intelligent library administrators to other library systems left a "leadership vacuum" in the County Library Department, which unfortunately was filled largely with Affirmative Action appointments instead of qualified supervisors.

Because of this "bureaucratic" emphasis, the purpose of the County Library Department, as defined in our Library Department's Mission Statement objectives has been distorted and, therefore, jeopardized since the real human potential of all library staff has been stymied to a large degree and betrayed by top and regional library administrators. Since top library administrators do not follow the County Civil Service "Rules and Regulations" regarding Performance Evaluation Management Policy, which are the safeguards for library employees at the bottom of the Salary Classification (or "power pyramid"), those at the "lower-income" levels of the organization can be "discriminated" against with impunity concerning gender, racial, ethnic and personal characteristics.

Therefore, library employees at the "lower-income" salary levels are often the "emotional slaves" of incompetent building supervisors and regional administrators who perpetuate dysfunctional "bureaucratic" customs. The primary "bureaucratic" customs are Greed, Stability and Political Expedience. I think these "bureaucratic priorities" of most library administrators are in direct conflict with the professional values of liberated librarians.

My 32 years of continuous full-time professional employment with the County Library Department has taught me that librarians in the "lower-income" salary levels are not treated "fairly and impartially" with respect to career development opportunities nor given proper recognition and respect for the "outstanding" work products they actually accomplish. In fact, they excel in spite of the "bureaucratic" neglect of proper rating procedures. This is because there is an over-emphasis by the "higher paid" library supervisors and administrators on the selfish "bureaucratic values" of library supervisors and administrators and a corresponding under-emphasis on the "professional values" of subordinates. Professional values involve doing the right thing at the right time considering all options and contingencies!

For example, library administrators have not developed sufficient "objective" controls to manage the execution of the County's official Performance Evaluation Policy. An excellent example of the kind of professional Performance Evaluation Management Policy guidelines, which the County Library Department should have in place for fairness to all "lower-income" salary level library employees is contained in the book, EVALUATING LIBRARY STAFF: A PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM by Patricia Belcastro, American Library Association, 1998. The guidelines in this book represent the most practical approach to public library performance evaluation management policy published so far.

The book explains the significance of having a written "Performance Evaluation Management Policy" in place with specific "objective" details related to "Work Standards" and "Rating Standards." Since the book was published by the American Library Association, it represents the perspective of our major national library association.


During my 32 years as a professional librarian in the City of Hawthorne, California, I have experienced many tumultuous "bureaucratic" changes in the County library Department that now consists of 88 community libraries. The latest and, I think, the most damaging to professional librarians happened in February 1989. It was called "Reclassification."

In 1989 the old policy of keeping administrative power concentrated in the hands of only a few library administrators at central headquarters was altered so more administrative authority was transferred from central headquarters to the five regional offices and entrenched there. The names of the "lower-income" salary level librarian Classification Specifications, or position descriptions, were changed. However, the duties and the descriptions of the various "work roles" that were covered by the new so-called "re-classification" policy in February 1989 were not changed!

The noble idea of the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) was to "decentralize" Los Angeles County's many bloated bureaucratic Departments in the hope of creating a more productive work force. However, this simplistic solution was not adequate to solve the immense problem it was supposed to correct. I have demonstrated that it left unregulated "bureaucratic" power in the hands of the same top library administrators who needed to change the most!

During the 1980s, many competent library top administrators and middle regional administrators resigned to seek their fortunes in other higher paying library systems where they had opportunities for greater professional development. At that time, the County Library Department was ordered to take on more personnel duties during the great "decentralization" effort by the County Board of Supervisors which culminated in the simplistic "re-classification" changes in the library Department in the winter of 1989.

About this time, top County administrators changed the name of the County's "Department of Personnel" to the "Department of Human Resources" ("DHR"). Also, Library administrators adopted the sweet sounding title "Human Resources Development" ("HRD") to rename the Library personnel office. However, this superficial change of names is reminiscent of the special language "Newspeak"that was created by top government leaders who stopped original thinking on the part of the "citizens" in George Orwell's famous book, Nineteen Eighty-Four. The book depicts life in a dictatorship where official government propaganda policy controlled the use of language and, therefore, everybody's thinking!

The point is that the dictatorial bureaucratic administrators in the book perpetuated their power over their people when they confused them by naming vital political values or qualities something contradictory which kept them ambiguous. Then, all that was required was that they kept publicly repeating over and over the "bureaucratic lies" with the threat of annihilation to mislead the people into accepting the distorted images in place of the genuine political and economic realities.

For example, the hero in the book was forced to say, "2 + 2 = 5," until he believed it.

I maintain that this same kind of official propaganda is occurring in the library Department when top library administrators perpetually allege that they are implementing the "official" County personnel procedures related to performance evaluations and appraisal ratings --- but they really don't!

Top library administrators, I believe, continually abuse the principles in the "official" grievance policy mandated by the CSC Rules and stipulated in Local 660's "Memorandum of Understanding" contract between Library administrators and employees related to Performance Evaluation Management Policy by denying any kind of "objective" analysis of the faults in the Library Department's performance evaluation procedures.

For more than 25 years, I have accumulated a written record which documents a consistent "pattern" of abuse of my employment rights regarding performance evaluation and appraisal of promotability procedures. This "objective" pattern proves that library administrators do not comply with the most important County Civil Service Code regulations, regarding the importance of doing "timely and complete" and "fair and impartial" annual performance evaluations.


Specifically, I think the library Department's top administrators fumbled the ball by "centralizing" "Administrative Authority" (or "dictatorial" power) in an archaic regional "bureaucratic" administrative structure. I have witnessed this entrenched bureaucratic control by County Library Department "leaders" who must have themselves been appointed mostly by "Affirmative Action" considerations rather than because of their genuine "leadership" qualifications.

The changing social demographics of the Greater Los Angeles County area during the past thirty years have actually required strong leadership ability, especially concerning personnel (or "Human Resources Development") decisions. But it appears that the only thing top library Department administrators did in response to this great need was to comply with the "political" interest of the CAO's office, which was to keep promoting more Affirmative Action appointments to top administrative and "middle" regional administrative levels --- especially females who had racial or ethnic identities!

Because "white males" previously ("historically") had a monopoly on Los Angeles County government jobs, and County administrators needed more individuals from the "protected" Affirmative Action classes or groups of employees (particularly, racial and ethnic minorities and females) in higher management positions, I think the library Department was expected to continue to promote as many minority candidates to top and middle management positions as possible --- even though they were not trained to be competent supervisors both before and after they were promoted!

This made it appear to Civil Rights activists that, indeed, County bureaucrats were complying with a Federal Court order and the progressive mood of the country to actually provide more "equal opportunity" management positions for minorities and women during the 1970s and 1980s.

That is because in the late 1960s, a Federal Court ordered the County Library to hire more socially diverse County employees. This put pressure on the Library Department to hire and promote as many "minorities" --- including females --- as possible. This was to make up for many years of discrimination and domination (racism and sexism) by "white males" in virtually all County Departments especially at the administrative levels. For example, when I started working for the County Library Department in May of 1970, four of six top library administrators were men!
However, since the library Department already had many females in higher than usual "management" positions at the regional level of administration ("empires"), the County Library's administrative power structure was a handy group statistically for top County bureaucrats to use to fulfill racial and gender "quotas."

To repeat, it appears that a major "bureaucratic" and "political" objective of top County administrators was to keep in place the high number of minorities (including females) in management positions in the County Library Department. This phenomenon of having a larger than usual number of employees in the "protected" class --- minorities including females --- appears to have been expected to continue indefinitely to augment the overall County government Affirmative Action "quota" count --- year after year after year.

I think this strategy has been perpetuated in order to display to Civil Rights activists --- both in and out of County government, a high percentage of Affirmative Action appointments in high County Library management positions.

Therefore, due to this unique "social/political" context and historical trend, the County Library Department's regional administrators and building supervisors are usually female with a few "token" minority (racial and ethnic) employees. They are hopelessly stuck in a quagmire of outdated bureaucratic "Rules and Regulations" which have paralyzed the library especially with respect to Performance Evaluation Management Policy.

I personally know that the library Department has not had any discernible objective Work Standards and Rating Standards for personal or promoting librarians to "supervisory" roles for almost 30 years! Since I started working in the County Library Department as a professional librarian on May 20, 1970, I have experienced frustrating and dreadful performance evaluations and appraisals many times!

Moreover, I have always received "competent" ratings on annual performance evaluation forms and "qualified" on appraisals of promotability. This means that I have always been rated as working at "expected" levels or "above" whether I was a supervising librarian in the 1970s at a small library or a reference librarian in the 1980s and 1990s at a large library! However, that same Performance Evaluation rating of "Competent" can also be given to a borderline employee who has one out of five major Rating Factors rated as "Unsatisfactory." That fact is described in the Performance Evaluation Rater's Handbook.

Thus, I maintain that "being qualified" to supervise has never been a "requirement" for promotion in the library Department for almost 30 years!

My own personnel record demonstrates that the Civil Service Code regarding the official County Performance Evaluation Management Policy of the County Library Department has been violated repeatedly by building supervisors or "raters" and regional administrators ("reviewers").

Therefore, it has always been easy for library administrators to appoint and promote "ethnic/minority" employees with apparently little or no regard for their lack of adequate supervisory experience and training.

In addition, there are no discernible written "Work Standards" or "Rating Standards" for use as official "objective" guidelines related to the new "work roles" of full-time librarians and library assistants caused by the new public demand for computerized information services in community libraries. Even though the library staff must now use sophisticated computers for reference and educational purposes, such as the Internet and complex Gateway computer databases or CD-ROM computer work stations, the new skills and abilities are not factored into the official Performance Evaluation Management Policy of the County library with respect to the supervision of "Librarian Is" and "Librarian IIs. Since no uniform written rating guidelines or objectively measurable requirements exist for these new "duties," they are largely ignored and "discounted" by both the raters and the reviewers!

Nevertheless, the two "lower-income" salary level librarian positions (Librarian Is and IIs) constitute 151 of the 231 total librarians (65%) or the great majority of full-time librarians. They are "responsible" for the "quality" of customer information services in local County libraries because they have direct contact with library users!

For an analysis of this data, see the comparison of the salaries of librarians and administrators by clicking on the following hypertext link:

Go to: Analysis of Salaries

Thus, the librarians who were promoted to "supervisory" roles have always had to be simply friendly "warm bodies" --- not efficient and effective supervisors in the technical sense. The phrase "warm bodies" is a favorite condescending term used by top and regional library administrators as a euphemism for professional librarians since they needed staff willing to be transferred from building to building, or position to position, at their convenience!

Thus, library staff are recognized to be "warm bodies," but definitely not critically thinking, ethically alert, and passionately professional "warm brains!" All "promoted" supervisors and administrators had to agree to keep quiet about the "dirty little secret," namely, that library administrators and supervisors save themselves a lot of hard work by systematically DENYING their foremost responsibility and duty, which is to "supervise" their subordinate staff in compliance with the Civil Service Code regulations!

Therefore, subordinate librarians at all Salary Classification levels had to agree tacitly to participate in this official deception by not rocking the "bureaucratic boat!"

Specifically, top library administrators vehemently deny that they have the responsibility to do "fair and impartial" annual performance evaluations (and appraisal of promotability ratings) and "timely and complete" annual Performance Evaluations according to the County Civil Service Code requirements.

To summarize, I think, many ethnic minority and female librarians were promoted "beyond" their level of professional expertise or "competence" --- "The Peter Principle" --- since they had no formal abilities or skills --- and have never had to develop them to continue to get promoted. Most of the library leaders since the 1970s have been females and they still are:

        1. Administrators at central headquarters;
        2. Managers assigned to regional offices; or
        3. Building supervisors in our 88 County Libraries or facilities.

They are the beneficiaries of much higher pay increases and much greater power and status than the librarians --- such as Librarian Is and IIs --- who are in the lowest salary levels, stuck in our County Library Department's archaic and unprofessional "bureaucratic" structure. In short, they are "stuck" on "career ladders," which are dead-ends for hundreds of professional librarians who have nowhere to go --- except to leave the County Library or wait hopelessly for retirement.


I think this was primarily due to the old bureaucratic "command and control" organizational structure in our large library Department, which has few opportunities for increased financial compensation within the official Civil Service Salary Class Specifications for hundreds professional librarians at the "lower-income" salary levels. There are few financial incentives for staying in the same beginning "lower-income" salary levels. That is because the so-called "merit pay" increases for most librarians are very small and very few --- even after librarians have worked many years serving the public.

The problem is that these librarians are the "contact points" with customers! They are the ones who are on the front line of customer information service.

In addition, most of the librarians who had training to be "supervisors" in the early 1980s have either retired or resigned from the County library system for employment elsewhere or are passively resigned to accept the status quo until they retire or die!

The same grim reality is as bad for hundreds of "library assistants" or office workers who work with no written "Work Standards" or "Rating Standards." This is because there are no uniform "objective" performance rating standards for them either. Their supervisors are the same supervisors who are supposed to be responsible for rating full-time librarians.

However, these supervisors or ("middle" managers) are also stuck in the "middle" of significant conflicts of interest as was old Tom Turkey, the co-opted victim depicted in my allegory of the County Library Department as a metaphorical "Turkey Pen." I see the Library as an dysfunctional "bureaucratic trap" with regard to the unhappy relationship between top library administrators and professional field librarians.

Go to: Eagle Allegory

The Turkey Pen symbolizes the brutal reality of conformity to an obsolete and archaic military style dictatorial "Command-and-Control" personnel policy regarding performance evaluations and appraisal examinations. Many subordinate librarians and clerical staff employees who work in this metaphorical "Turkey Pen" are victims whose productivity has been jeopardized and whose collective spirit has been stifled by negligent regional library administrators and building supervisors.

Many of the employment rights of the subordinates as full-time professional and para-professionals have been denied because some library supervisors and top administrators have neglected to do legitimate "annual" performance evaluations and "fair and impartial" appraisal of promotability examinations, which is their chief leadership responsibility!

The situation can be compared to an historic Southern plantation where African-Americans were held in bondage as "slaves" without civil rights until after the Civil War. The Turkey Pen metaphor could have been called a "Plantation" where information is substituted for cotton and where many supervisors file false official reports, thus violating County Civil Service Rules, instead of brandishing whips.

Moreover, many supervisors are even given bonuses for keeping the professional and para-professional full-time subordinates at the "lower-income" salary levels in the status of "emotional slaves." The Turkey Pen symbolizes the
of the smothering official policy of conformity to an obsolete and archaic dictatorial military style "command-and-control" personnel policy regarding performance evaluations and appraisal examinations.

This regrettable phenomenon of mismanagement during the 1970s and 1980s was called the "Peter Principle" by management experts in books and also by Local Union 660 officers who represented librarians. Now, in the 1990s, a new and even more regrettable phenomenon is being described in the popular press and by management pundits as the "Dilbert Principle."

The Dilbert Principle posits that many of the employees promoted to supervisory positions in large organizations are promoted from their "non-supervisory" positions to "supervisory" levels to keep them from doing more damage to their organizations at the "lower-income" salary levels. I have personal experience that this principle appears to describe precisely what has happened often in the library Department regarding promotions during the past decade, particularly.

During my almost 30 years of continuous professional work as a supervising librarian and a reference librarian serving residents in the greater Hawthorne area from two libraries in the City of Hawthorne, I have witnessed the fact that top library administrators have been unable to accomplish the objectives of a good management policy as it is described in the County Civil Service Code and all modern management textbooks, library literature articles, and video and audio recordings on leadership. To validate my opinions and the facts, please click to connect to the "References" link, which will connect you with a treasure of citations to specific resources that include books with summaries, professional library and psychology and management journals articles, video and audio tapes, and library and psychology websites that all support my claims:

Go to: References

Now, since nobody else is willing (or able) to challenge the dictatorial "command-and-control" administrative rules and regulations of our top library administrators, it appears that "middle managers" at the regional level and "building supervisors" at the community library level continue to perpetuate entrenched "bureaucratic habits." The polarization apparent in the allegory between the attitudes of the turkeys and the young eagle was not created by me merely for literary effect. The polarization represents the true brutal reality originated and perpetuated by top and middle library administrators and many building supervisors as they mechanically cultivate their "dehumanized" and "bureaucratic" administrative "rules and regulations" on a daily basis.

This is unfortunate since it has destroyed a lot of professional enthusiasm and sucked a lot of the joy out of the work role of the librarians in the "lower-income" salary levels, just like parasites who suck the juice out of their victims!


Being a victim in such an overpowering entrenched "bureaucratic" library organization, which is dominated by out-dated and hypocritical personnel policies, is very difficult. There has been no recourse for me and the hundreds of professional librarians and para-professional staff members at the bottom of the power pyramid --- except a little support from the librarian's union, Local 660, in extreme cases of administrative abuse and neglect by supervisors.

This is because the best new personnel ideas in the genuine public management "Human Resources" movement have not penetrated the County Library Department's entrenched "bureaucratic" organizational structure. This fact must be understood within the context of another fact, namely, that the County's Department of Human Resources (DHR) has not compelled County library leaders to implement essential new "modern management" principles of effective leadership. Even though the DHR analyst/trainers have attempted to "train" supervisors to do the right thing in two full-day seminars, they have not obligated them to implement the new principles in reality as new legal policy!

In the past, when professional "lower-income" salary level and "upper-income" salary level librarians did not receive proper respect and justice through official channels, especially within the official performance evaluation and appraisal procedures, they either resigned from the library Department to take better jobs elsewhere (this was the library "Brain Drain" of the 1980s and early 1990s when many very qualified library administrators left the County library system) or they resigned themselves to a bleak and unhappy work situation where their work product was poorly evaluated and their self-esteem and work product suffered.

Many of the remaining staff who were promoted to supervisory "classes" to replace the employees who left the library Department became "lifers" with lowered professional expectations for career development. I think they have become helpless pawns or puppets controlled by the mental and emotional chains held by top library administrators. They have been forced to function like trained parrots with limited vocabularies.

The "lower-income" salary level librarians, like myself, have done the best they could with the public but have not received the proper and appropriate official recognition from their supervisors for their high quality work performance. This has caused many librarians to feel frustrated by the oppressive nature of the library Department's Performance Evaluation and Appraisal of Promotability rating procedures. Because of the negligence and incompetence by library administrators and supervisors, many librarians have became burned out after several years of hard work.

Nevertheless, my focus is on the primitive rating procedures related to our obsolete performance evaluation management policy. I think the bureaucratic weaknesses related to "Performance Evaluation Management Policy" have stifled hundreds of responsible librarians and para-professional clerical employees at the "lower-income" salary levels. Many of these victims of the dysfunctional bureaucratic system at the bottom of the power pyramid would really rather grow than have their professional creativity suppressed.

I think the bureaucratic neglect of professional values has wasted millions of dollars of productivity --- in the 1990s alone! This is true especially with regard to the County Library Department's obsolete (out-of-date) "command-and-control" performance evaluation management policy. I believe the past and present bureaucratic policy has stifled the professional values of many full-time professional librarians by quashing their creative management ideas before they could be evaluated "objectively." This could have led to greater professional productivity based upon the proper documentation of and commendation for "teamwork" accomplishments.

I have demonstrated in my analysis of the issues of the County Library Department's Performance Evaluation rating policy and Procedures that a lot of "bureaucratic" activity of top library administrators is not directly related to genuine "productivity" or good "results" in terms of high quality customer information services --- but only the perpetuation of bureaucratic power!

Therefore, I think new written guidelines for both "building supervisors" and their regional "middle managers" are critical for determining "Work Standards" and "Performance Rating Standards" based on the genuine Human Resources "Facilitator" or "Coach/Servant" model of supervision.

Ultimately, the main problem, which I have experienced professionally as a full-time employee of the County library for many years, is that there is NO professional accountability from top administrators at central and regional headquarters regarding policy about the required "annual" Performance Evaluation and the "periodic" Appraisal of Promotability rating procedures.

I assume that this bad situation has continued for several decades simply because it is easier for library administrators to deny their responsibility instead of making the essential changes in their performance evaluation management policy and practices. Also, I assume that is because they continue to make "Big Bucks" without being accountable to any higher authority such as the County Board of Supervisors, or the County Civil Service Commission, or the County Department of Human Resources.

It appears that "bureaucratic" conformity to the archaic dictatorial "command-and-control" method of supervision has been valued more by our library administrators than the creation and implementation of a modern "efficient" policy statement and implementation process regarding Performance Evaluation and Appraisal of Promotability rating procedures. Unless a County agency with higher "Administrative Authority" such as the Civil Service Commission or Grand Jury intervenes to enforce change in the library performance evaluation management policy and procedures, I think it is probable that our poorly trained library supervisors will continue to base the Performance Evaluation ratings they give to subordinate librarians and library assistants on pure "subjectivity" instead of the "objective" reality of professional collaboration!

To summarize, the leaders of our library Department continue to deny their legal responsibility to implement the official formal Performance Evaluation Management Policy of the County Library Department and the Department of Human Resources (personnel).

Therefore, I think they are perpetuating an inadequate bureaucratic "public relations" program which defies rational analysis and damages employee morale. I think this dysfunctional "bureaucratic" policy is in direct conflict with the County Civil Service Code legal requirements and, therefore, is fraudulently corrupt!

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