Personnel, responsibilities shuffled at Pratt New director cites need to 'take care of what we have'

October 08, 1993|By Rafael Alvarez | Rafael Alvarez,Staff Writer

In the Enoch Pratt Free Library's first major shake-up since Carla D. Hayden took control in July, the longtime head of facilities has been transferred to the Department of Public Works and his old department has been radically restructured.

Edward Bogier, who made $56,400 a year at the Pratt and supervised a staff of about 50 people, joined the Bureau of Water and Waste Water last week. Although Dr. Hayden and Mr. Bogier said the move was voluntary, the public works director said Dr. Hayden had asked him whether he could take Mr. Bogier.

"A couple of months ago, she asked me if we could use his talents," said George G. Balog, the public works director. "I asked a few of our bureaus, and the water department said yes."

Mr. Balog said he expected Mr. Bogier's salary to remain the same as it was at Pratt.

Mr. Bogier, who was considered the second most powerful person at the library during his nine years under former director Anna Curry, supervised drivers, shipping clerks, custodians, painters, electricians and security officers. During that time, he planned and oversaw the renovation of 15 of the system's 28 neighborhood branches and part of the renovation of the central library on Cathedral Street.

Mrs. Curry, who brought Mr. Bogier to the Pratt from the mayor's office in 1984 to establish a capital projects program, retired in December after the board of trustees voted to fire her. Many Pratt observers wondered whether Mr. Bogier would remain once she had gone.

"I did not leave angry. I left because of an opportunity to coordinate capital projects" in the water department, said Mr. Bogier, 53. "I'm leaving behind a fleet of well-renovated branches and a capital budget positioned to support the next real vista for the library -- technology."

Under Dr. Hayden's reorganization, all aspects of capital projects have moved to the financial office, which is headed by Gordon Krabbe. Facilities planning will be known as building operations and will deal primarily with library maintenance and upkeep.

Dr. Hayden said Mr. Krabbe will oversee building maintenance until a chief of the restructured department is named in about a month.

"We need to take care of what we have," said Dr. Hayden, who made no secret upon her arrival from Chicago that Baltimore's libraries, particularly the central library, were unacceptably dirty and cluttered.

Since Dr. Hayden became director, the central library has undergone intense cleaning and sparkles for the first time in years. "It's approaching eat-off-the-floor," a longtime staff member said.

The library has been contracting out more of its custodial work recently, and minor repairs at the branches and little things such as broken windows are getting fixed more quickly.

Dr. Hayden said the new look did not cost extra money, something the Pratt has been woefully short of in recent years. "It just took some elbow grease," she said. "You need a clean environment to have clean thinking."

Perhaps the most troubling event of Mr. Bogier's tenure was the recent renovation of the Govans branch, which remained closed for nearly three years while he and Mrs. Curry tried to find the money to repair it, staff it and even keep it in the system.

Finally refurbished after chronic complaints from residents to Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, the branch opened in July to rave reviews.

In the restructuring, Dr. Hayden said, more responsibility for the welfare of neighborhood branches will be given directly to librarians.

"I never felt there was respect for branch managers and what we needed before. We were almost treated like children," said a neighborhood librarian who asked not to be identified. "It was very difficult to get anything accomplished."

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