Gregory Library Watch

Preserving working class Black history


Programmed to fail

The unwritten Gregory Library  Policy is to employ people with no credentials in black history. Not that they don’t have the money to actually pay people that have the credentials in black history, because they do. Here is a copy of the gregrory-library-budget-2010 You can see that that their entire budget is salaries.

When a facility like Gregory, whose mission is to preserve and archive black history, does not employ one qualified professional that is an expert in black history, it quickly becomes obvious that the real mission is to fail. Now that all the contracts to renovate the building are finished, the ruling class cannot drain many more tax dollars from Gregory Library, therefore the next use for this prime real estate is to sell the building and land to the developers.

The City of Houston drafted a document called “The African American LIbrary at the Gregory School: A Project of the Houston Public Library” to use as a Guideline for Gregory. That document is here: Guidelines for Gregory

Phase 2 of the Gregory Library starts on Page 4 of the Guidelines document. This part of the guidelines lays out the “Proposed Collection Development Policy.” Compare that document to the actual history posted on their website which is a joke.

Under the collection tab on their website there are four (4) links, under the “Plans for Collection building” link we see the following text:

“Material will be collected to provide historical information that documents and focuses on the experience of African American residents, businesses, institutions and neighborhoods throughout Houston and the surrounding region.

Over time, the archives will grow through donations and the collection will be categorized based upon principles universal to the stories of the community: Unity, Self-determination, Collective work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith.”

In other words, the decision makers at the Houston Public Library system don’t have a plan to build the “collection.” The Library of Congress and university archives build their collections by purchasing them from the owners. In a meeting with Gregory Library activists, Ms. Stokes said “We can’t pay for collections.” Either Ms. Stokes is oblivious to the reality of building archival collections or she is making sure that the Gregory will fail by failing to secure the funds to purchase collections.

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