To the editor: Motion to terminate Rockingham Library director uncalled for

To the Board of Trustees of the Rockingham Free Public Library,

I object to the recent motion to terminate our library director, Célina Houlné.

Earlier in the year I heard that Houlné’s job performance was in question and I was shocked. Then, I found out about the claims that were being leveled against her. I’ve read over both the formal complaint, and the Corrective Action Plan that was put in place around May of this year. I’ve heard the rumors and accusations. I attended and watched the library’s Board of Trustees meetings in person and on FACT8. The library director described in these documents and in the verbal rumors  has no relationship to the woman I know and have worked with.

It may be easy to dismiss my comments by saying that, as a member of the public I am not privy to this side of Houlné. I feel that I have a unique point of view as I have worked for Houlné and the staff of the Rockingham Free Public Library as a regular volunteer. I have worked in the same room for hours during day-to-day activities, serving as part of a board that worked seamlessly with the director, working on library projects one-on-one, and being involved as a treasurer handling accounts with the staff. At no point have I witnessed any unprofessional behavior, heard or seen any disrespect toward any person — public or staff –, nor have I seen any action Houlné’s taken in which she did not have the best interest of the library.

Having volunteered with five libraries in Connecticut, I have found the RPL staff to be among the most harmonious, hardworking and friendly group I’ve worked with. Until the claims of the personnel committee, I had never heard an unkind word said about any of them. This tells me how exceptional the director and this small staff are.

I believe the RPL Board of Trustees’ personnel committee is not working in the best interest of our community by making this motion. If the rest of the trustees allows this to pass, it will be doing a great disservice to the community.

Susan Lampe-Wilson


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