City Views

CityViews 10/26/11: Controversy in the Stacks

Jim Rettig via Flickr


Segment 1:

Questions of mismanagement and intimidation continue to haunt Salt Lake City Library Director Beth Elder, so much so that a major supporter – Friends of the City Library – has threatened to withdraw its financial backing of the institution.


  • Salt Lake City Councilman Luke Garrott
  • Lizzie Gupta, member of the Salt Lake City Library Board
  • Suzy Dailey, past president, Friends of the Library

Segment 2:

A conversation with private investigator Sam Brower about his seven-year quest to bring polygamist Warren Jeffs to justice.


  • Sam Brower

Sam Brower will read and sign his new book, Prophet’s Prey, at The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 E., Salt Lake City tonight Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.



City Views
City Views was a daily public affairs program that ran on KCPW from 2011 to 2013. It was hosted by Jennifer Napier-Pearce, who later went on launch and host "Behind the Headlines," the weekly news roundup from KCPW and The Salt Lake Tribune. The show featured news reports and interviews with policymakers, local newsmakers and
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    It sounds to me that there is a lot of discourse in many areas of the city. Perhaps we need a strong leader/mayor who is willing to address and handle the many problems in the city departments, rather than trying to build something new.

    I worked at the main library for more than 30 years and under 3 different directors. After each change there was always a period of adjustment with staff and management but within a reasonable period there has always been an ability of the director to “communicate” his/her “vision” with staff and get the majority of staff on board with the program. What I have noticed is that Beth Elder and her team does not have the ability to communicate and manage the staff.
    The board seems to be a rubber stamp for Beth Elder and her team. The staff works hard and they are for the most part very professional and that is why the patrons see no real changes to their service. Over the past two years I have noticed changes in staff members morale. It has steadily declined and in the last six months it has reached a real low point, and not from staff who have worked there for 28 years but also those newer employees who were hired just before the new regime. I now hear nothing positive from staff members about management and Beth in particular. Beth is never seen by the staff where as in the past the director would circulate among the staff at least occasionally. I think that the board and mayor Becker, whom I usually support, need to remove this woman before there is more harm done.

    Email comment: Diane, SLC: “Luke Garrott suggests that the library belongs to the community, that these aren’t typical management issues. Following that argument, what’s the point of any manager or leader in public administration? It seems crazy to me to suggest that “the city” can run a complex organization. The Library, the mayor’s office, other complex organizations need directors and those directors need the opportunity to make hard decisions that lead organizations in new ways.”

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