Loudness over the library

Patrons should make best of changing situation at Euchee Creek

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On the surface, the brouhaha over the transfer of the Euchee Creek Library director to the Evans facility looks like a no-win situation.

But not even those involved should judge this book by its cover.

Uprooting library director John Welch was traumatic for him, and angered patrons, some 300 of whom signed a petition opposing the transfer after he'd run it since its opening in 1994.

Nor did Columbia County commissioners take pleasure in standing up for the transfer by administrators and facing angry constituents over it at a recent meeting.

Yet, the truth is, all parties can come out better on the other side -- if they want to.

The library could be run better. Welch was upbraided for having dressed inappropriately and sleeping in the break room over lunch, for instance, and books were in great need of being shelved. We're also told there was quite a bit of trash to be hauled off.

This case also could serve as a wakeup call to county officials -- who were at least figuratively sleeping on the job themselves by not supervising Welch better and documenting problems and prescribing remedial plans.

Patrons of Euchee Creek have shown their loyalty to Welch -- and it's heartwarming to see. Now they have a chance, though, to turn their affections to the library and its new director, Keisha Evans.

They can start by using the library's resources for all they're worth. That's what it's there for. If their passion for learning is anything like their devotion to Welch, that will be a success story in itself.

They can throw in a warm welcome for Ms. Evans, a Harlem graduate and neighbor.

Mr. Welch, meanwhile, can feel eternally grateful for the support from friends and patrons. He can be the best reference specialist possible in Evans. And by enduring the transfer with grace and determination, he can come out the biggest winner of all.

Perhaps the most lasting thing county officials can take from this difficult episode is how fervently residents feel about their libraries.

And really, that's a no-lose situation.

Comments (12) Add comment
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corgimom
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corgimom 10/11/10 - 07:05 am
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It doesn't matter how much

It doesn't matter how much someone is liked, the County Commissioners have a duty to make sure their libraries are appropriately run by competent people.

The County Commissioners did the right thing.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/11/10 - 10:19 am
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This is a change from the

This is a change from the original reason given for the change in directors. At first it was said the transfers came because Ms. Evans had the necessary degree and Mr. Welch didn't. My comment then was if this is about ensuring administrators of all types have degrees, shouldn't it be a uniform policy.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 10/11/10 - 10:24 am
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You don't really need a

You don't really need a reason to transfer someone. You only need a reason if you demote them or fire them.

Still, I think it was unseemly "piling on" for the library administrators to complain about Welch's sleeping on the job. When he explained that he was taking "power naps" on his lunch hour and immediately stopped when told to, the matter should have been over. Power naps are acceptable in some companies and government offices, unacceptable in others.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/11/10 - 12:17 pm
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LL, I agree it seems like

LL, I agree it seems like piling on. If I had written this editorial I would have left out the subjective: "Welch was upbraided for having dressed inappropriately and sleeping in the break room over lunch, for instance, and books were in great need of being shelved. We're also told there was quite a bit of trash to be hauled off."

Since these points were brought up, who upbraided him? What type clothes was he wearing? Books needing to be shelved is unusual? Who handles hauling off the trash? LL has already answered the power naps thing.

aureliusdios
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aureliusdios 10/11/10 - 03:55 pm
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This situation was not

This situation was not handled correctly. Management should have been up front! Power naps--please! How about sleeping on the job! Playing his guitar in the backroom; violating the county's dress code; fudging his time card; letting the public into the administrative areas to pick out their own books; getting off early to play with his band; not following directives------the guy got off easy!

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 10/11/10 - 04:20 pm
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Good point about the

Good point about the shelving, RM. I used to work in a library, and one of my duties was re-shelving books (we called it ‘re-stocking the stacks’). Whenever I would get back with my little cart after re-stocking, there were always more at the front desk. Of course, the library where I worked is bigger than is Euchee Creek.

dstewartsr
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dstewartsr 10/11/10 - 04:21 pm
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Of course it had nothing to

Of course it had nothing to do with affirmative action, which is desirable and good-- as long as it isn't taking place in Evans.

dstewartsr
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dstewartsr 10/11/10 - 04:36 pm
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BTW, which of our

BTW, which of our unaccountable commissioners wrote this piece of dreck? They ruled (literally) and this puff piece is basically saying to the people who actually use the library, "Shut up, peasants, we know what's good for you."

Though I wonder if any of them could FIND Euchee Creek library without GPS, much less use it on a regular basis.

aureliusdios
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aureliusdios 10/11/10 - 04:43 pm
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I knew some jack rabbit would

I knew some jack rabbit would finally say it! In this case "Shut up, peasant--is appropriate! You must be one of the ones allowed to take home 7 DVDs at a time--while the rest of us were limited to 3 by policy.

dstewartsr
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dstewartsr 10/11/10 - 04:59 pm
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" You must be one of the ones

" You must be one of the ones allowed to take home 7 DVDs at a time--while the rest of us were limited to 3 by policy."

No, sad and frustrated little person, I stop by infrequently, and never for media. But, given the hysterical tenor of your post, I can understand why they might not be prone to bending the rules for you.

aureliusdios
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aureliusdios 10/11/10 - 05:05 pm
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Exactly, why he is gone no

Exactly, why he is gone no rules apply!

seenitB4
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seenitB4 10/12/10 - 08:46 am
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We need more parents

We need more parents supporting the library in their neighborhood.....if I had my way every student would write a book report every month & kids misbehaving would write one every week.....
we don't need to cut hours/employees at our libraries.....let's hope the new guy does a great job.

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