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George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Embattled Salt Lake City Library Director Beth Elder listens during the Salt Lake City Library Board's special meeting to discuss her fate as director. Elder resigned during the meeting at the Main Library in Salt Lake City on Friday.
Salt Lake City Library director checks out ...

What happened:

- Salt Lake City's library's embattled director resigns - The Salt Lake Tribune

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Saying it was time to remove herself from the "hot seat," Beth Elder resigned Friday as director of Salt Lake City’s award-winning library system.

Her immediate resignation was accepted by the Library Board, which had called a special meeting to discuss the director. ...

... The embattled Elder has been under fire from library employees, former library executives and the volunteer fundraising group Friends of the Library. ...

What we'd said about it:

- Library renewal: Library's faults are at the top - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial, 10/22/11

... Library Director Beth Elder has clearly lost the confidence of her own staff, professionals and volunteers. A recent staff survey, plus a constant stream of reports about how upper management is going out of its way to limit internal and external discussions, suggest what others have reasonably described as a "toxic atmosphere" that serves the community poorly. ...

... Whatever path Elder and the board envision for the library will not be successful if they cannot win — earn — the necessary buy-in from their staff, volunteers and supporters.

Failure to do that with one or two disgruntled librarians may be the fault of the employees. Failure to do that across the entire staff, the entire community, is a failure at the top.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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