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Did The Library Board Jump The Gun With New Hire?

Did The Library Board Jump The Gun With New Hire?

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Did the library board jump the gun and hire the first eligible candidate for a replacement for the recently retired Bill Molesworth? Was due diligence put aside to quickly kill any further talk of shared librarian resources between Midland and Penetanguishene?

We broke that story after Gerry Marshall let it slip that he was exploring that option with Midland’s Council. The library board chair was quick to go public and denounce the story as “baseless speculation” although nothing could be further from the truth it seems. Only days later Mayor Marshall had some back-paddling to do and released a lengthy letter supporting his position.  Furthermore, we have learned that it may actually have been Midland’s Mayor who suggested this to Mayor Marshall only to pull the rug out from under him when the meeting came, possibly due to public backlash from our untimely and inconvenient publishing of the story.

Crystal Budgell
Crystal Budgell – Midland’s New Chief Librarian and CEO

Well, now that we’ve covered some brief history, it seems that the library board has chosen a new CEO and Chief Librarian. While we want to welcome Crystal Budgell’s addition and have to assume that her qualifications will be an asset to the library, there seems to be some question about the process and whether we could have interviewed any other candidates before making a quick hire decision.  This top position is very important to the community and it is important that the optics of how the process was conducted be seen as fair.

It should be noted that Council is at arm’s length from the library board and has a representative (Councillor Strathearn) on that board representing the Town of Midland’s interests and to act as a liaison between Council and the library board – whose funding comes largely from the Town of Midland and our taxes.

To learn more about her you can visit her LinkedIn profile by following this link.

It will be great when / if the library board justifies their decision to hire this candidate to the exclusion of any other – before the closing date of the competition, to the community who subsidizes the library.  This situation deserves an explanation from our volunteer community-minded library board.  What was the rush?  Why did you hire before the closing date?  Please, board, speak up and come clean on the process.

The library is a jewel in the crown of the community most especially since it serves several very key community groups…. the less affluent, the elderly, children and their families and a large number of the isolated  as well as disaffected  who rely on music, videos, graphic novels, computers, newspapers and a warm welcoming space. 

To be clear: The issue that has caused the stir in the community centres around the process and not our new Librarian/CEO herself.

The letter from Diane Greenfield was tendered to Council and reads

Dear Members of Council

I am very concerned that the volunteer Library Board has hired a replacement librarian after only one interview and long before the deadline posted has expired.

Certainly this would not have happened if the hiring was done through the town. When this opening came so close to Christmas and holiday season it seemed most inappropriate that this was handled with such extreme speed. I very much doubt that this would have occurred in the corporate world.

It is not as if this candidate could come immediately and fill the gaping void they created.

This is a long-term position that will direct the development of the library in this community. Most disappointingly, the hiring seems to reflect the very narrow, and corporate vision of the board members who dominate the board.

Their presentation to council in Sept, only now released, was distorted, self-serving and completely failed to out line the amazing changes that have been happening at the library over the past many years. What is happening now with a volunteer board is extremely disturbing. Even more so when speed, lack of research and lack of transparency are the hallmarks of decision-making.

Sincerely

Diane Greenfield

Every reply from the mayor is evasive and he falls back on the arms-length position which merely serves to isolate him from any fallout” – how convenient.

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Comment(7)

  1. Lack of transparency should fit right in with Midland Councils ” in camera” sessions. A town council voted in by the people and paid by the people should be 100% transparent. They are, after all supposed to serve the community. How is the community to know if their interests are best served, when there are decisions and deals made in private ?

  2. I agree that there needs to be less secrecy – however – if I were on the library board, I probably would have elected to do the same thing in the face of their agenda of amalgamation. Though they state “oh no, it’s just a theory right now – blah blah blah”, I would bet money that, as more positions become available, they’ll just quietly amalgamate without consultation. Though it may make economic sense (in their minds), the fact is that they are two distinctly different communities with distinctly different needs. It has been said that “it is inevitable that the two merge”………..well, perhaps eventually, but it’s unfortunate because it will end up like Tiny Township, being governed by people who did not grow up here, have no idea of the unique nature of the area, and just see it as a bit of an ego power boost.

  3. I didn’t realize you had to grow up here to be part of and contribute to this community. I guess only those who have deserve that right.

  4. That’s not what I meant; but any elected officials have an obligation to study the history of an area to effectively serve its people. I’m not going to argue about it, and obviously I wasn’t clear in my first comment.

  5. I’m sorry but I cannot read your mind and your statement was very clear. I’ m glad to hear that you don’t feel that way but it seems to be a fairly common opinion in these parts that people not born here are good enough to work, live, spend money, pay taxes here but our opinions and input are somehow less valuable than “real” citizens. As an aside there are many people who are born in this area who are unaware of the history of this area. That has nothing to do with where you were born.

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Did The Library Board Jump The Gun With New Hire?

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