Gregory Library Watch

Preserving working class Black history


The main contract that Gregory Library has issued currently is the one with Patricia Prather. She is a retired public relations local that was contracted by the Houston Public Library (“HPL”) to “assist with collection and archive development along with donation obtainment” even though she has no experience in building archival collections. Unfortunately Ms. Prather has not been successful in gathering collections yet they still renewed her $1,500 a month contract. See her most recent contract which ran from August 1, 2009 to January 31, 2010. It’s here: Pat Prather contract

Gregory library and the library system also contracted with Danielle Burns to “provide curatorial consulting services to develop the inaugural exhibition for the Houston Public Library’s African American Library at the Gregory School.” Here’s a copy of her contract, which pays her $23.00 an hour: Danielle Burns contract Ms. Burns is not a specialist in African American history. Her degree is in art history. Although her inaugural exhibit has long been removed, the taxpayers still get burned for her $23 an hour services which mainly involve her sitting at the front desk greeting patrons.

We have posted both Prather and Burns resumes on the people tab so readers can decide if they are qualified for their jobs. We filed a public information request and found no Request for Proposals (RFP). Therefore it looks like the City of Houston is doing business as usual, kicking contracts under the table to their buddies. The fact that there is no system to insure that the taxpayer gets the most qualified person / company to do the work is never an issue for the City decision makers.

In 2003 James S. Walker Architects signed a contract worth almost 4 million dollars to provide the “programming / pre-design phase of the African American Library at Gregory.” The City of Houston later canceled the contract and wasted almost one million on Walker’s services. See the financial breakdown of Walkers’ contract here: James Walker contract

By January 18, 2006 the City of Houston’s Director of Building Services Department Issa Dadoush was concerned that Walker was taking too long to get the project ready to put out to bid. See Dadoush’s letter to Walker here: Dadoush – Walker letter 1.18.2006


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