Only Response to ALOUD Petition is Crickets

Over 800 people, locally and nationally, recently signed a petition calling for transparency and accountability in the firing of Louise Steinman, founder and director, and Maureen Moore, associate director, of ALOUD, the successful literary series at the Los Angeles Central Library.

The petition, delivered Sept. 12, received coverage in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Downtown News, and on Madeline Brand’s “Press Play” on KCRW.

However, it has received no response from either the Library Foundation or the Mayor’s office.

The Ad Hoc Committee in Support of ALOUD, comprised of writers, poets, and other members of LA’s literary and cultural communities, issued this statement: “Apparently the voices of 800 members of the local and national community—Pulitzer winners and parents, best-selling authors, students, funders, publishers, academic and arts leaders, and readers—were not loud enough to warrant even an acknowledgment.  But as participants and principals in the broad conversation ALOUD has nurtured for over 25 years, we do not accept silence as an answer. #We are ALOUD.

“We want to continue to protest the lack of transparency and accountability from the foundation, its board and its executives by adding another 800 — or 8,000 — signatures to our petition: bit.ly/ALOUDpetition.

“You can write your own letter to the board of the Library Foundation, 630 West 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071, mention it in Facebook posts or call 213-228-7500.

“The Library Foundation has made vague references to new programming, and the desire to target younger audiences and younger authors. Its treatment of ALOUD this season makes us question its intentions, good will and stewardship of this community treasure. We’re particularly disturbed that lack of transparency is allowing damaging speculation to circulate about why Steinman and Moore were fired so suddenly. After years of excellent work, generous reach and full houses, they do not deserve this.

“Thank you for your support and participation.”

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