November 16, 2018 – The Library Foundation of Los Angeles today provided its first explanation for firing Louise Steinman, director of the popular ALOUD series, and Maureen Moore, its associate director. The explanation was contained in a press release.
“[Library Foundation president Ken] Brecher said his decision to restructure ALOUD came after more than four years of studies and internal discussions that indicated the program, once considered on the cutting edge of literary culture, had failed to keep up with the city’s social and demographic changes,” the press release stated.
The press release continued: “He said the studies showed ALOUD’s programming, adherence to a week-night schedule and near-exclusive use of the Central Library’s Taper Auditorium drew a niche audience that was increasingly unrepresentative of users in the library system’s 470 square-mile service area. Meanwhile, the program was facing competitive pressures for top authors from new speaking series in bigger venues around the city.
“Under the restructuring, ALOUD will retain much of its traditional core programming while reporting to a new and different management position responsible for larger portfolio of literary events and cultural activities of interest to the library’s diverse audiences. While many of the events will take place at the Central Library downtown as before, others will be held at various library branches, as well as off-site venues in partnership with other organizations.”
The explanation was part of a longer press release that began with information about a temporary restraining order obtained by the Foundation “against a man who physically threatened Ken Brecher” at a recent ALOUD event.
Image: Howard Bryant, Dr. John Carlos, in conversation with Dr. Todd Boyd, Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, USC, June 19, 2018. Photo by Gary Leonard.