It’s not every day former City Councilman Bob “Troll” Walsh admits he’s wrong. Some members of the Bridgeport Library Board and employees have expressed concerns about the job performance of Library Director Scott Hughes including missing a filing deadline for a key state grant and mixing in political activities such as running for State Senate to the detriment of his work. Hughes rejects that latter assertion. Walsh has stepped up for Hughes, writing the guy he thought would be “eaten alive by Bridgeport politics” has been an asset to the library. Check out Walsh’s letter to Library Board members.
For those who do not know me I have dedicated two decades of service to the city of Bridgeport as a member of The Bridgeport Fire Commission, the Bridgeport WPCA Authority and 17 years on the Bridgeport City Council. I am well aware of the difficult decisions that you must make in your role on the Library Board.
So let me be short and to the point. I am writing to voice my support and admiration for our City Librarian Scott Hughes. In looking back I recall the first time I met Scott was when he appeared before the City Council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee. And I must admit my immediate reaction was that he appears like a nice guy but will be eaten alive by Bridgeport politics.
I am happy to report that I was wrong. Well not about the nice guy part but he has grown and thrived in this role and so has the Bridgeport Public Library. He is in and of the community much more so than other city librarians that I knew.
When he came to Bridgeport he had a vision of the library’s future. And although that vision has not developed exactly as he had imagined, the Library has changed, has grown and has developed in many very positive ways.
And, for those of us who know Scott well, we know that he had made some very personal sacrifices in trying to make this vision a reality.
I do not know where or why some people have apparently soured on Scott but I have not. If the board or some of its members have issues with Scott let’s try to work things out. Let’s not let the moment get in the way of the future.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not being dismissive of the board’s role in the growth and positive things we are seeing in the city’s library system. It is the effort of a collaborative effort by all stakeholders that has gotten us to where we are today.
But I have seen too often good people leave this city long before they have to over issues that could be resolved but were not due to a lack of trying. Don’t let Scott and the libraries become another such victim. The growth of the libraries is something our whole city can be proud of and needs to continue.