I’m writing in response to the “Where is Your Librarian” letter that was published in your April 26, 2013 edition.
As a retired licensed counselor, I have a certain amount of insight into human nature. I have yet to meet an employee who has been separated from their position that was willing to admit any wrongdoing on their part. Regardless of the employer’s official position on a termination, there is nearly always a valid reason for the action.
I also know, as someone who spent several decades in the workforce, that the only side of this story we will hear is that of Ms. Clark. Her employee file is confidential so the library’s administration will not be sharing those details publicly.
I happen to be a patron of the Surrey Township Public Library and I’ve been incredibly thrilled with the changes that have gone on there in the last few years. The atmosphere at the library has completely changed. It is now a welcoming and vibrant place in our community. I’ve yet to visit when there haven’t been a good number of people making use of this fabulous resource. The staff is friendly and always willing to go the extra mile to meet any needs that I may have and the programs they are developing are wonderful. I’m particularly excited to see that the library will be the site of Farwell’s first community garden this year!
The Library has expanded my ability to gain access to information a hundredfold. Without ever leaving my home I am able to log on to the Library’s website and borrow books from libraries all across the state. I can learn a new language, download eBooks and audio books to enjoy on my iPad or access databases for research.
Even though I use the internet from home, I’ve noticed that the library has also expanded their number of computers for the public to use. There used to be only three or four computers where there are now a couple of dozen. When I inquired about where the new computers came from I was told that the library received a grant for technology to create a computer lab. I don’t know if this is the same grant that Ms. Clark spoke about but it is evidence that the library makes use of grant funding none the less.
Ms. Clark also spoke about being taken to dinner on several occasions. I was curious about the reason for this so I called the library for an explanation. I was told that once a year, on National Library Worker Appreciation Day, the library’s board recognizes the staff for all their hard work by treating them to an awards dinner. I asked if Ms. Clark had attended all of the awards dinners and was told that she had. Several thoughts and questions came to mind upon hearing this. If Ms. Clark had any concerns about who was paying for her meal why did she not express them prior to her termination? If she honestly believed, as she has insinuated, that these awards dinners were not justifiable, why would she attend on a regular basis?
Personally, I find it refreshing to hear of employers who value their workers and wish to reward and recognize them. And this leads me back to wondering why an employer who has shown that they place great store in the people who conduct their business would just simply terminate one without just cause. I believe that there is much more to the story of Ms. Clark’s termination than she is willing to share.
From all that I’ve seen with my own eyes coupled with a lifetime of experience in the working world, I can only conclude that Ms. Clark’s letter is nothing more than the sour grapes of an ex-employee. I, for one, am very proud of what my library has become and will continue to use it and support it long into the future.