Library Board Needs To Come Out In The Open

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter to let the C.H. Booth Board of Trustees know that we are still watching and to encourage others in town to continue to do just that. Since September 16th, we've heard little or nothing about the plans of the board to create a search committee and hopefully to use an inclusive search process to find a new library director. I  believe that to regain the trust of the community, the board will need to break their habit of secrecy and be more forthcoming with information.  I recommend that updates be regularly posted in The Newtown Bee and on the Booth webpage and that minutes be more accurate and detailed.

Because Booth is a quasi-public agency receiving money from both the state and the Friends of the Booth Library, they are bound by Freedom of Information laws. Posting bland minutes is not enough. Speaking in soft tones at board meetings is not enough. The FOIC did rule last year in a case brought against the Sherman library that any library that receives material support from a municipality, as does The Booth, is subject to the full force of state FOI laws. Much more disclosure from the trustees is now due.

Here are my requests:

1. Use a microphone at meetings so that board members can be heard.

2. Post the minutes from executive meetings, not just regular meetings.

3. Minutes should be more accurate and include suggestions from various board members to catalog ideas in case the board wishes to return to them.

4. Board meetings should be announced one week ahead on the Facebook page and the webpage.

The public has lost faith in the Board of Trustees. President Martha Robilotti, if she is to continue to lead, should make an effort to enlist the public, not promote secrecy and negativity.


Elise Silkowski

113 Head Of Meadow Road, Newtown      November 11, 2013

More stories like this: C.H. Booth Library, FOI
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