Magazine article American Libraries

Wyoming State Librarian Fired without Explanation

Magazine article American Libraries

Wyoming State Librarian Fired without Explanation

Article excerpt

Nobody is saying much about the April 27 firing of Wyoming State Librarian Helen Meadors. Announcing her termination the following day, state Administration and Information Department Director Art Ellis, who holds absolute hiring and dismissal power over the position, said the termination was a confidential personnel matter and he could not discuss any of the issues that led to it.

Meadors told American Libraries, "I had no warning. I hadn't talked with him and he hadn't indicated his displeasure. I can probably count on both hands the times I've talked to him in the year-and-a-half he's been in office," she said, noting that Ellis was the third AID director she'd worked for in her four years as state librarian.

"All I can tell you is that I have heard that I had done a good job," Meadors said. "Anything else would be speculation."

Asked if she intended to take any action to try and get her job back, Meadors said, "I'm not sure. I'm still looking at my options, but I'm not inclined to do anything like that. I knew when I came that it was an at-will position. I just assumed that if you're doing a good job, that would be enough. I certainly did not expect this. I've done exactly what it is that I was asked to do."

Questioned about what he would seek in a new state librarian, Ellis told AL, "I'm not prepared to talk about that." He did say that the state library board was "an advisory board by statute" and would be part of the selection process," as it was with Meadors's hiring.

Board chair Helen Fitch told AL that she had recently written a letter of commendation for Meadors to try to prompt the legislature to authorize a salary increase. …

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