I recently retired as an adult reference librarian and Head of the Local History and Community Relations Department at New City Library. Through my more than sixteen years of employment, I have had the privilege to meet many wonderful patrons, county groups and talented presenters. I was most fortunate to work in a job I enjoyed.
I have also seen many changes through these years. Technology, of course has had one of the greatest impacts upon libraries today. These changes have greatly benefited the efficiency of library management and aided the patrons researching strategies.
However, I have also witnessed a departure from a well- organized, prepared and active group of Board of Trustees, elected members from the Clarkstown public whose primary responsibility is to make library policy. The public has viewed and read about the gradual decline of a cooperative group of nine people who should understand library bylaws as well as rules of order. We are now facing a group of majority-voting members who attend meetings ill-prepared or unaware of library procedures.
During this year, we have watched the removal, at will, of a proactive library director, the resignation of a long-time business manager, and the loss of a bookkeeper. There has been no attempt to hire replacements as the Board feels it has the responsibility to hire all personnel, yet at the same time, takes no action. The Interim Director has become a figurehead. And finally, the loss of the head of Community Relations with no replacement in sight, equates to absence of management over the adult programs offered to the public.
We have a lot of bickering and fighting amongst these nine people of whom, three attempt to follow the established protocols and by-laws. If you check the 2012 monthly board minutes, you will see very little library business has been accomplished.
For those reading this who know me, you will agree that I have been an ardent supporter for the New City Library. To see this rapid decline is at best, most upsetting to me. There is an election coming up December 12, 9AM – 9PM in the library to replace three outgoing trustees. Elected members will serve a three-year term. It is imperative that the public votes for three candidates who understand library services; are active patrons who read and, who want to bring quality back to policy decisions.
I would ask you consider the following candidates: Ed Kallen, George Jacobson and Victor Berger. These three candidates are both active Rockland community members as well as professionals in the work place. For a full description about these candidates’ qualifications, go to New City Library Watch (www.nclibrarywatch.org), an organization growing in support, who has been diligent in reporting the trustee actions after each monthly board meeting. Better still, become a Watch supporter. It costs nothing except your time and interest to help this library get back on track and begin healing.