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Library Director Resigns

According to a press release from the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library:

Bridget Quinn-Carey, director of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System, has announced that she will be leaving her post at the expiration of her 3-year contract with the Library System, effective March 4, 2011.  Ms. Quinn-Carey is credited with managing our region’s 37-branch library system during a time of unprecedented increases in all areas of library usage and, most recently during the challenges associated with reductions in funding.

“Bridget has been an amazingly strong leader,” said Sharon A. Thomas, chair of the Library System Board of Trustees.  “Bridget’s dedication, energy and expertise have all gone toward making this a better and stronger Library System for everyone.”

“It has been an honor to lead this institution and to work with the staff, board and community,” said Ms. Quinn-Carey in a resignation letter sent to the board earlier today. “I am confident that the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System will emerge from its current challenges, as it has many times over its 175-year history, to not only meet the needs but exceed the expectations of this wonderful community.”

Ms. Quinn-Carey came to Buffalo in 2008 from the Essex Library in Connecticut and is a member of the American Library Association (ALA) and the New York Library Association (NYLA). She serves on NYLA’s Legislative Committee. In October 2008, she was appointed to the State Board of Regents Advisory Council on Libraries and now serves as Chairwoman. She also is a board member at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and WNY Public Broadcasting’s ThinkBright and Well Advisory Board.  She and her husband, James W. Carey, and their two daughters live in East Aurora, NY.

Ms. Quinn-Carey will make an announcement next week regarding her new appointment.

Details regarding the search for a replacement will be released after the next board meeting scheduled for January 20.

When asked if Quinn-Carey had been seeking a new position somewhere else, a library spokesperson declined to comment. Next week, her new job will be announced to the public.


  • Joe

    Dear Bridget Quinn-Carey,

    Thanks for refusing to advocate for BECPL, throwing out tens of thousands of books from the collection, laying off valuable staff that this county has made a significant investment in, cultivating a “great relationship” with our county executive, and leaving this library system in significantly worse shape than when you were hired.

    Job poorly done. Good luck in your new position.

  • Julie

    Great. She allows our library system to be decimated and yet is able to find work. Wish the same could be said for the library staff that is out of a job. Disgusting.

  • jhorn

    ugh. When can we expect ms. thomas’ and the rest of the trustees’ resignations? And when will the county legislature realize the board needs to be depoliticized?

  • Fred

    Jobs lost? Wake up union people you have had too much for too long and this is the benefits the public is reeping. How many unions are there at the libraries, four at least? Putting in 30 years at 30 hours a week does not equal a 55 retirement and pay for decades after that. It is simply not earned. All you think about is your jobs and your benefits when all you are doing is serving a tax paying base. When the 3 million was announced all you talked about was not firing employees, guess what? – all the taxpayers thought was will I get services, books, programs, longer hours, because that is what you are suppose to be providing. Your greed and lack of big picture vision is what is causing, not just the libraries, but almost every aspect of WNY to flounder.

    What a bubble you live in. I hope the next director rips the place to shreds and gets down to the service aspect of this entity.

  • Willie

    The majority of Erie County Library employees are part time and receive no benefits beyond a meager hourly wage. Now that Ms Quinn-Carey, her lawyer husband and their buddy Collins have managed to gut the Library, even some of these part timers will be let go.

    But let’s not let facts get in the way of a good anti-union rant, right?

  • jhorn

    fred- it was those union workers, the temps with no benefits, and an outpouring of support from the people of erie county (across the board support- city, suburban, rural) that got the $3million restored. While the board and ms. quinn-carey stood by in see no- hear no- speak no- evil mode. But, as willie said, facts and fred aren’t acquaintances.

  • Fred

    Maybe the full timers are what keeps the part-timers so low. And by-the-way, when the cuts come are they based on skill sets, or based on performance, is it based on anything but how long you can stick around?

    You pick the right answer.

    What a farce to reward some people for nothing short of sticking around.

    I will rant all day boy!

  • Fred

    Like I said 30 years and out with decades to get paid, who do you think can affored this?

    “It’s in my contract!” – they cried as the sky fell.

  • notjustsourgrapes

    “Fred” said:

    “What a bubble you live in. I hope the next director rips the place to shreds and gets down to the service aspect of this entity.”

    “will I get services, books, programs, longer hours?”

    Umm, Fred, who is it that is supposed to provide all this service? Teens who get paid minimum wage and have no particular commitment to you or the community? And “rip it to shreds” but provide you your service, how does that work genius?

    Unions are not perfect and perhaps those who cannot perform should not be unquestionably protected, but many many of the union employees have worked very hard and deserve protection from the whims of management, who often only care about the bottom line, if that even. Or maybe Fred, you are the sort who believes we should not take care of others, no retirement money, no health care, just let people die in the gutter when they are no longer able to provide for themselves. Have you ever heard the expression, “the measure of a society it how it treats its poorest members”?

    You’re stupid and selfish. Better hope you don’t ever need help.

  • notjustsourgrapes

    And the layoffs were not based on seniority; the folks that have been there longest and get paid the most were not touched, just the poor unionized lower level (yes, mostly full time) librarians and clerks who provide direct SERVICE to the public.

  • notjustsourgrapes

    Correction: So, yes, seniority won the day, at your expense.

  • Fred

    Oh the old “you’re stupid” such a fine comeback. If you read my posts you would see that I do not envision an all or nothing situation nor that all employees should go. Is this what you talk about at Union meetings? That without your hard work to even the playing field, at least for those with seniority, everyone will be fired and replaced with teenagers? Why can’t people be rewarded based upon performance? Why does this scare you people so much? I want good educated people helping me at my local libraries, I want staff that will add to my experience, but in hard economic periods hard decisions must be made. The earlier posts on this thread talk about someone being at fault for the cuts, does anyone appreciate that WNY is not an economic pot of gold? That maybe there is not a lot to go around right now? Does it ever occur to you folks that without private entities there is no tax base to support any municipal entities and eventually the economy will spiral into itself? The mills are gone, and there not coming back and your kidding yourself if you think you can try and lure new business into this area with this everyone gets a bite mentality. The reality of the posters above is they wanted the money restored for one purpose-to save their union jobs, there was little concern about services only keeping those fine WNY municipal jobs.
    Your unions are like lemmings, and like lemmings you have reached the edge of the cliff. Clearly the idea of a real economic crisis will do nothing to change this mentality that no-one can touch my stuff.
    New York like many states is in the toilet and no one can afford these municipal pensions and pay raises. When does it all sink in for you people? Blame away and act like you are so compassionate as you drive kids out of the area and bleed what little is left out of the community. Good luck.

  • Fred

    Yeah we ought to let you guys run the place. Implement a seven hour work day with a four hour break in the middle and two half-hour breaks on either end. And 352 sick days, but only if your really sick.

    What a life.

  • notjustsourgrapes

    Fred, I totally agree with you that people should be kept in place based on expertise and performance, not just seniority. And I’m glad to hear that you want educated skilled professionals to serve you in our libraries (which does not seem to be the emphasis under current, soon to be replaced, management). But unions are not all evil and are not the sole reason that private industry has left our region. Workers need protection and all people deserve to live decently in retirement. (And by the way, I’ve never benefited personally from being in a union, nor have I ever attended a meeting). Supposedly unions help with these issues of fairness. The private industry that you mention is often indifferent to these needs. Why do so many folks blame the unions for our economic ills – they should help protect all of us (but perhaps they need some reforming).

    Eliminating professionals that happen to part of unions is not good for anyone, it just lowers the bar. It’s a national trend and you can see it all over the place: dumb down America, pay people less for more work, lower qualifications, etc. Yet someone is still very rich and it isn’t the poor saps that happen to be part of unions, ever heard of corporate welfare Fred? The bailout? It ain’t benefiting the unions as far I can see but it is probably taking a more significant amount of your tax dollar.

    Believe me, it very well may be kids serving you from now in your local library branch; maximally, lower paid clerical staff at many of the libraries. And this is about quality, not “I want mine and only mine.” On the contrary, I’m heart broken that I am seeing an important local institution being decimated.

    It sounds to me like you are just concerned with your little (or big) slice of the pie and god forbid too much of your tax dollar goes to an important public service that can help all citizens. Yes, we have less now, but it is no time to get selfish and say, “screw the whole institution because unions are the great evil.” I personally would not even mind if a corporate entity took over the quasi-governnmental agency called the library, as long as they promoted quality and fair treatment to it workers.

    Someone has to look out for the little people Fred and yes, I think it is stupid to believe business will do it without being forced to since all they care about is the bottom line.

  • Fred

    “The Bailout ain’t benefitting the unions” do you realize no bailout would have equaled nothing for anyone don’t you? No banks, no commerce, literally nothing.
    So you, like a lot of people, label anyone who wants to look at this matter as an anti-tax. Reread my posts, it is not about my taxes, I don’t have a problem with paying taxes for services, I love libraries and schools and solid roads and infrastructure, but the reality of NY, Cali. Il, etc. is that the taxes are not going to services or infrastructure they are going to legacy payments. I will simply repeat, when is enough – enough? No one is saying workers should not get retirements or be forced to live on the street and fend for themselves, what is being discussed are large retirement benefits based on not enough input. For example how can a police officer work for 30 years and end up retiring with full benes and a six figure salary and expect the state to afford this?
    When did municipal employment become the brass ring?
    This is simple math, and the numbers are not adding up.