Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The last Board Meeting

There is a nice guest column in the Rock River Times by Mike Korn this week that sums up what happened at the April 23 library board meeting. The comment about the examples given for weeded books was well put. After the meeting, a used book seller said that she bought a fairly new beautiful set of Shakespeare books at the used book sale that looked like they had never been checked out. She mentioned that just because a book hasn't been circulated, does not mean it has not been pulled off the shelf and used. The focus on all the outdated medical textbooks made the outcry about the weeding seem silly. (Did anyone see the Bruce Quast cartoon in Sunday's paper?)

A point of clarification from Mike Korn's guest column about the violations of The Open Meetings Act: Logli stated at the meeting that the Open Meetings Act was never violated, but that is simply not true. The link to the act is above for anyone who wants to read it, but the provision that we know for a fact has been broken read as follows, "In addition, a public body that has a website that the full-time staff of the public body maintains shall post notice on its website of all meetings of the governing body of the public body." The Rockford Public Library did not follow this provision, not just once, but multiple times as Rachel stated at the last board meeting.
A staff member brought it up in a monthly meeting beginning last fall (2011) that the incorrect meeting time and location was listed on the website. (The website stated meetings were held at Main at 6pm, when they were actually held at the East branch at 5:30.) During the January board meeting this fact was brought up by several of the public speakers and the information was corrected.
However, the committee meetings were not listed in March on the website. It is suspected that other provisions of the Open Meetings Act may have also been violated (such as the one that states meeting notices must be posted at the location of the meeting and one other location) but this has not been confirmed.
Regardless, it is true that the Open Meetings Act has been violated repeatedly this past year, and yes, Rachel did state that when the board president is the former state's attorney this fact is embarrassing, even unforgivable. "Unforgivable" was perhaps not the correct word choice and "inexcusable" should have been used instead.
After hearing about Daniel Ross receiving threats, it is important to SOL that the dialogue about the library and the library board is civil and does not incite people, so Rachel wishes she could change the adjective "unforgivable," to the more accurate "embarrassing." SOL's mission has been to inform the public about the current situation with the Rockford Public Library and has never been to be adversaries with the library director or board members.

Finally, there was also a wonderful guest column in Sunday's Rockford Register Star by Amy Orvis if you missed it.

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