Gregory Library Watch

Preserving working class Black history

Dr. Rhea Lawson and the City: Screwing over working class African Americans for 10 years

Our email dated August 31, 2010

Dr. Rhea Lawson, Director, Houston Public Library

Dr. Lawson,

In January 2010 I brought Bobby Caldwell, a 76 year old African American attorney, to give his oral history at the African American Library at Gregory. Your staffer, Nicolas Costellanos conducted part one of his interview and then conducted part two a few months later when I again drove Mr. Caldwell to the library. To this day, Mr. Caldwell’s oral history has not been posted on the Gregory Library site.

Today I was at the Gregory and spoke about this with Helena Stokes, the manager of the library. Ms Stokes had many excuses but no answers about why oral history subjects who gave interviews after Bobby Caldwell have their history posted to the Gregory website but no reason why Mr. Caldwell’s was not. In fact Ms. Stokes became very belligerent and said something to the effect of “You can ask my boss …” It is entirely unnecessary for your employees to talk to taxpaying citizen’s like myself an unprofessional tone of voice particularly when I was asking a very simple question and in light of the fact that the Gregory has absolutely no patrons 10 months after it was opened. (see Fox News and Channel 13 new stories about that exact issue).

Ms. Stokes also informed me that Nicolas Castellanos, who had no degree in African American anything, (just like all the employees at Gregory) no longer works for the library system and that there is no one to conduct oral histories at the Gregory library. When will that situation be rectified and what is the point of having oral history facilities and equipment if you just fire the person who was doing them and don’t replace him?

Therefore I have two questions:

1. When is Bobby Caldwell’s oral history going to be available to the public via the Gregory website?
2. When is the Gregory going to have a qualified person conducting oral histories working on site?

Please advise.

Timothy J. O’Brien, Ph.D – for Gregory Library Watch

Read Dr. Lawson’s reply: Rhea Lawson reply 9.2.10


September 7, 2010 Posted by | Rhea Lawson | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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