Decision to dismiss Tim Wadham is shameful, wrong
I heard, with shock and disbelief, that Dr. Tim Wadham has been summarily dismissed from his role as Director of Library Services for the Puyallup Public Library. Speaking as a citizen, Library patron and volunteer, this decision is just plan wrong.
Dr. Wadham came with knowledge, enthusiasm, and the ability to inspire. His vision for the Puyallup Library became the vision for many of us: to be the best library in America, to serve the public to the best of our abilities, and to become a centerpiece for the citizens of Puyallup.
During his tenure the quality of programming has gone through the roof, advanced technology with the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has arrived, and the defunct Puyallup Library Foundation has been brought back to life with a commitment to the MakerSpace program that is nothing short of exciting.
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I have given many volunteer hours because I believe in Dr. Wadham's vision. He is unfailingly encouraging and insightful, willing to help in any way he can, and always shows gratitude for any efforts on behalf of the Library.
For the Puyallup Council to condone this ill-considered dismissal of Dr. Wadham is shameful.
Kathleen Rohlman Warren
Wadham considered an authoritative literary resource
I recently learned that Tim was dismissed from his position as library director in Puyallup, and I wanted to say a few things about him that may (or may not) be new information to readers.
Quick background: I’m an author. I’ve spent many years writing non-fiction (a couple hundred articles in various national publications, as well as a couple of non-fiction books). More recently I’ve been writing Young Adult novels. My wife is also an author, and we’re both published by Random House. I state this only to make it clear that we have a strong understanding of the children’s literature field.
And within that field, Dr. Wadham is very well-known and respected. He’s widely considered an authoritative literary resource, he’s served on the selection committees of some of the most prestigious awards in the children’s literature arena, and has been very active — in both an instructive and a leadership role — within ALSC, the Association for Library Service to Children. And most importantly, with his vast knowledge of — and love of — the field, within the industry he is considered perhaps THE consummate children’s librarian.
Beyond that, Tim is simply a wonderful person. We’ve known him for over 15 years, and have seen him in three different library systems. In each of these he’s been an absolute professional, and we’ve never seen him (or heard of him) behaving in anything other than a completely ethical manner, always acting with the utmost integrity.
Among many other accomplishments, Tim is known industry-wide for planning, arranging, and hosting some of the best author events ever. Best organized. Best publicized. Best administered. Best authors. Best attendees. Best venues. Best activities. Last year my wife and I went on national book tour, visiting and presenting at over 100 venues (schools, libraries, bookstores, conventions, festivals, etc.) over a period of four months. And many of them were wonderful events. But none of them were as well executed as the events Tim does.
I’m aware that Tim has a disability (Asperger’s). And that might require some minor accommodations. But letting Dr. Tim Wadham go as your library director because someone doesn’t want to accommodate this would be like a university letting Stephen Hawking go because they don’t want to deal with the wheelchair.
I would urge you to advocate doing what’s right for Tim, for the Library, and for the City of Puyallup.
Mark H. Parsons
Pismo Beach, Calif.