Special meeting of Whiting Library Trustees agenda for May 19

The Trustees of the Whiting Library will hold a special meeting  at 1 p.m. on Thursday May 19
The meeting will be conducted via Zoom.

Below is the board’s agenda:

Call to order
Additions to agenda

Executive session to continue discussion of personnel issues

Status of response to public records request

Discussion of press release in response to press coverage


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  1. Evan Parks says:

    According to one article, the reason that the board overstepped their authority and decided to try and stop this event was because of some artwork associated with a music album that Justin Marsh, director of communications and development at The Pride Center VT and one of the presenters had made, that someone on the board considered obscene.

    Does this mean that anyone “associated” with artwork that the board considers “inappropriate” is not allowed to present programs at the library now? What sort of troubling precedent does this establish?

    So writing a book, song or a poem with an adult theme, or drawing an adult themed cartoon or painting, or even just being associated with art that the library board may judge “inappropriate” now excludes you from presenting programs at our public library?

    I have artwork associated with my music that some would probably consider “inappropriate” for children. Am I forever banned from making presentations at our library now too?

    This is not what I would call inclusive. Blackballing people from presenting public library programs for simply being associated with artwork that the board deems “inappropriate” is not acceptable in my opinion. Importantly, this is also not the function of the board as I understand it.

    I sure hope we don’t loose our beloved library director over this misguided censorship, she is a smart, caring, person who has put her heart and soul into making our library and our community a better place and she is a huge asset to our community.

    Though I am saddened that it had to come to this, I support her decision and I think I now understand why she felt it necessary to tender her resignation. I would have done the same.

    In my opinion the board owes Deirdre Doran, Justin Marsh and our community a public apology and this program should be immediately reinstated. We can then forgive, learn and all move bravely forward into a more inclusive, just and enlightened future.

  2. Tim Roper says:

    Come on folks, let’s have some respect for this board and try to give them the benefit of the doubt until the full story can be told.

    The agenda clearly lists Executive Session as the second item.

    To my knowledge the program was not cancelled; it was “paused.”

  3. Emily Burkland says:

    I am sorry to say that they voted to accept Deidre’s resignation instead of try to work to bring her back. I think this is a rogue board. Is there anything we can do as a community to rally for this action? Are we really powerless here? It is so sad to lose such a great librarian and I worry about the overreach of a board like this.

  4. Patrick Spurlock says:

    This is a very curious meeting to have. If the Director has quit and the program has been cancelled as the word on the street goes, then why the hiding from the board? I will be calling and speaking to the State Librarian on this matter and I urge others to as well.

  5. Patty Mahaffey says:

    Absolutely ridiculous! Posted time to discuss library issues was 1:00pm. Once in the zoom meeting, which I rearranged my day to attend, we were told board would (again) meet for executive meeting behind closed doors and that we would be invited back in appropriately 45 minutes. Why wasn’t this stated previously? Great way to reduce public input!