Humble commentary from a Literary Hoarder...

 Well, today’s Windsor Star reports that the (trailblazing) CEO of the Windsor Public Library will not be returning to work ever again for the WPL.

Many over the few years of which Holmes was in command, complained of his changes and the speed with which those changes occurred to our public library. Windsor is unfortunately not a city that embraces change well. But for this Literary Hoarder, those changes were incredible, necessary and so welcome!

In his short term, Barry Holmes revolutionized WPL’s services. He brought the public library system to the forefront and made it slick, cutting-edge, fashionable even! He implemented Bibliocommons, a powerful and amazing search engine and stylized social networking site for the library’s goods; emphasized the Overdrive system (audio and digital books); abolished overdue fines; and won the Windsor Public Library an innovation award. Along with the esthetically pleasing changes he brought to many of the (run-down, tired and old) branches around the city, he also spear-headed the push to move the main downtown branch in to a brand-new, state-of-the-art-facility, thereby bringing the public library to the forefront of our city’s cultural and entertainment diversification efforts.

Therefore, this Literary Hoarder is sighing with deep disappointment with the news reported today. The changes Holmes brought to our public library system were exciting, bold and fresh and I was so excited to see the possible relocation of the main branch to the riverfront in a spectacular and new environment. Now, with Holmes all but leaving only his dust behind, I fear that each of his tremendous efforts will be mothballed and that Windsor will revert back to its old, tired and ancient ways. I know many are trumpeting and cheering this loss, but for me, I only think of how rather unfortunate it all is for this city.

Now I know Mr. Holmes was not clean and tidy in all aspects of his public CEO role, anymore than former Chair Maghnieh was…but I sincerely hope Windsor does not turn back the clock on his innovative practices and push to bring the public library system into a modern era.

This Literary Hoarder will miss you Mr. Holmes.

CEO Barry Holmes departs Windsor’s library

CEO Barry Holmes departs Windsor’s library
Windsor Public Library CEO Barry Holmes is seen in this April 2012 file photo. (Dan Janisse / The Windsor Star)
Posted by:  Doug Schmidt

Barry Holmes is no longer the embattled CEO of Windsor Public Library.

But whether he “voluntarily resigned his employment,” as the board said today, or he was “constructively dismissed,” as Barry and his recently acquired lawyer claim, that is a question likely headed to the courts.

“Should Mr. Holmes decide to make a legal claim against the library board, such action will be vigorously defended by the library board,” recently appointed library board chairman Peter Frise said in a brief statement read to reporters following today’s board meeting.

It’s just the latest sad chapter in a scandal that erupted after it was revealed in April that then-board chairman Al Maghnieh — the since-disgraced but continuing Ward 10 city councillor — was going loose and fancy on a Holmes-approved library credit card.

No sooner were questions raised by city councillors about Barry’s position in Al’s self-confessed craziness than the CEO called in sick at the start of May — and he’s been calling in sick ever since.

Bottom line on the latest development? Frise  said the board has been advised by Barry’s lawyer that “Mr. Holmes will not be returning to employment with the Windsor Public Library.”

I just don’t think Windsor book lovers have read the last chapter on this taken-from-true-life story.

More to come.