Understaffing shows the library's priorities are misplaced

Opinion

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The recent firing of four library staff, including Cynthia Maroon, the head reference librarian, has revealed a problem existing at the library. Apparently, within the past three or four years, the library staff has been allowed to fall from its full staffing number of 34 down to the current number of 20. As a frequent patron, I know that the library is operating on a bare-bones level.

Isn't it the library board's job to foresee this several years in advance? Why haven't they put a referendum on the ballot? It would seem that, with all the new multiple-condo buildings and so many new businesses in town, we could certainly afford to increase the library's budget.

Among the assets of the library are the professionals and staff, and our library had the best in those areas. Cynthia Maroon was probably the greatest asset we had. She worked closely with the Friends and contributed new ideas on ways to reach our community.

The mission of the library board should be to promote the best interests and highest ideals of the library in its role of leadership in the community, for both adult and children's programs. To that end, its highest priorities should be keeping its good and valuable employees, and then working to make sure it has the budget to promote its ideals.

In the past year, the library was closed for two weeks for new carpeting installation, and, of course, movers had to be paid also for moving books and furniture and stacks. This board has chosen to make unnecessary capital improvements and then to fire its best employees. This is a misplacement of priorities.
Evelyn Krueger
Forest Park

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