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Life Arts

Turmoil strikes Boston Athenaeum

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Strife has erupted at the Boston Athenaeum. As the private library has courted younger members and improved fund-raising, it has been rocked by internal divisions and staff departures: Nearly half of the Athenaeum’s roughly 55 employees have left in the past 3.5 years, a striking turn at an institution where tenure is often measured by the decade. Current and former employees, board members, and longtime supporters  described an institution in turmoil, as director Elizabeth Barker seeks to modernize the tradition-bound library while being accused of disregarding its essential character and expert staff. Senior staff describe a “hostile” and “ruthless” administration that undermined their expertise. Beloved colleagues have been fired on the spot and marched out of the building. Others have retired in disgust, giving little or no notice.

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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