Dissent Deferred

Management at the Salt Lake City PL has apparently decided against learning what staff think of the place and mandated a happy-talk only rule for companywide email and at least one Facebook account. (No indication in the article specifically whose FB account was stifled.) System director Beth Elder’s attempt to tamp down internal fires would seem only to have fanned the flames. The spark came when a directive from human resources mandated “that employees would not use all-staff email to voice opinions or express concerns.” Curious irony that the HR folks give people so much to grouse about in the process of prohibiting the grousing.

And in case the gags weren’t feeling tight enough, the policy also mandates official censorship: “ ‘Appropriate’ all-staff email must be reviewed by two staffers before sending, the edict reads. And ‘any other’ all-staff email must be approved by the employee’s manager.” Fortunately, this policy seems pointed only at email to everyone on staff, and private complaints among individuals and groups still would appear to be within bounds. Good thing, as those folks seem to have lots to email one another about.