Sunday, December 13, 2020

Dark Director





 Our Library Director is leaving. And the current chatter at my library turned to who might be named as an Interim Director. One of my colleagues said in casual discussion "I think they should make you Interim Director."

I said "All shall love me and despair."

All shall love me and despair.

The full quote is from The Fellowship of the Rings. It comes when Frodo offers Galadriel the great ring of power that he is on a journey to destroy in the only place it can be destroyed.

Galadriel says:

And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!


I don't believe in hierarchical power. I don't believe in managers or presidents, gods or kings, directors or rings of power.

Or I should say, I don't believe in them as a force for good.

I do believe in good. And I believe institutional, hierarchical power ultimately erodes good and justice and decency. Would Galadriel be better than The Dark Lord?

Of course. 

For awhile. 

All shall love me and despair.


Of course, no one is actually offering me a Directorship, interim or otherwise. It is not even within the realm of remote possibility. I doubt there was even a small part of my co-worker's preference that was serious, and if she were magically given the option to make it so, she would, ultimately, decline.

Not that I wouldn't be far, far better than any of the ridiculous, marginally responsible people they will choose from. I would be an amazing Director. Miraculous things would happen around here. It will be beautiful and terrible as the morning and the night. It will be fair as the snow on mountains. Stronger than the foundations of the earth.

Things will change.

Heads will roll.

All shall love me and despair.   

Which, while admittedly a tad dark, would still be an improvement around this place.


  1. This will be an interesting story line to follow. You've wanted this person gone, as I recall. Do you think they'll look inside for the interim? How about for the "permanent?" Is there anyone there who would be an improvement over the current director?

    1. Oh, you want the real dish. Yes, this has been the worst director we have had in my career. I think if they do go interim it would almost certainly be someone from inside, but a meeting regarding that seemed to have come up empty, so who knows. There is no candidate I know of that I would be enthusiastic about, and our system is in a troubled place, not just from the Pandemic, but very much in relation to the County's sort of hostile takeover. So we need a passionate, saavy director who understands and ferociously believes in Libraries. A political analogy: We need a Bernie Sanders and a strongly Democratic Congress, but it's far more likely we'll be getting a Biden with a McConnell Senate. I suppose that will still be improvement but... oy...

      I'll keep you up to date.

  2. I remember that you wrote about the county takeover some time ago...last spring, perhaps? I never did quite get what that was all about; but it seemed that they were messing with the library-patron interface. I probably have that all messed up.
    Your Sanders/McConnell analogy is helpful. Yes, please do keep me posted.


If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.