The "Un"Retirement of Director Danny Gillane
After Lafayette library Director Danny Gillane's announcement in November that he would be retiring, speculation ran high regarding how the board would go about replacing him. At the November Board of Control meeting, Robert Judge announced an ad hoc search committee that now it appears we don't need. On December 12, Director Gillane abruptly changed course, announcing to the press that he had asked for his old job back, and the board had accepted. It's a bizarre turn of events in what has been an already strange saga of 'will he, won't he,' after Gillane retired, then applied for a job in Baton Rouge, and now has come back. It remains to be seen what the implications will be. His stated goal of making sure "people are in the right civil service classifications to best fit the library system's needs, and to make staff more flexible and more stable" smacks of corporate speak for layoffs to me, but we'll see.
Attorney General Jeff Landry Launches "Tip Line"
One of the biggest stories this month is the exponential spread of book banning efforts across the state. Michael Lunsford and his big-money right-wing funded Citizens for a New Louisiana has now taken their show on the road in a big way, attacking Livingston Parish this summer, and both St. Tammany and Rapides parishes this autumn. In December, AG Jeff Landry, a close political ally of Lunsford's, launched a "tip line," where citizens can report "taxpayer-subsidized sexualization of children" taking place in Louisiana's libraries. In an absolutely repugnant attempt to demonize the hard-working librarians, library staff, and teachers who spend countless hours carefully curating their collections to serve the needs of diverse communities, AG Landry is using Lunsford's groundwork as a campaign platform and basis for censoring much needed library materials.
Notably, the "tip line" does not originate from Jeff Landry's official Attorney General's website, https://www.ag.state.la.us/. Instead, a link there takes one to a .com website, www.agjefflandry.com/protectingminors, indicating that it is NOT part of his official government duties, but is, instead, paid for with...campaign money, perhaps? Taxpayer dollars? Who knows? Definitely not on the up and up.
The move was widely panned worldwide in both the press and on social media, and the "snitch line," as it has come to be called, has been spammed by thousands of angry messages.