There will be a line item for legal fees and anticipated associated expenses when the Prendergast Library sends its 2013 budget request to the city.
The Prendergast Library Association board of trustees met Thursday afternoon for its first meeting after deciding to dismiss Linda Mielke, former library system director. However, other than some comments from the public, the future of the position was not discussed.
Thomas Rankin, treasurer, did however discuss the upcoming budget request to the city, as well as the library's fundraising efforts.
The Prendergast Library board of trustees hears remarks from several community members during Thursday’s meeting.
P-J photo by Liz Skoczylas
"I would like to point out, on the expense side, new line 7432, legal council," Rankin said. "That's something we haven't had in the past. For reasons we will discuss further in executive session, we need that."
Rankin went on to explain that the line is for anticipated legal expenses. However, what those anticipated expenses are was not clear as the board went into executive session.
Additionally, at Thursday's meeting, Rankin revealed that the library's fundraising efforts are down a total of $38,398 from last year and $77,600 under this year's goal.
"It's our practice for us to do another round of letters directly to our donors," Rankin said. "We're going to do that again."
Several members of the community also spoke at the board of trustees meeting, primarily about the changes brought about by the former director.
"In the last year, I have been stunned by the change," said Marion Gibbons. "It was not warm and pleasant. I think it lacks intelligence."
Gibbons explained to the board that the book selection in the library is not what she looks for in a library. She said the books at the Prendergast Library were being "dumbed down," and that she was called "elitist" when she looked for books off The New York Times Book Review.
"I am not elitist. I am an avid book reader," Gibbons said. "I am deeply disappointed. I have sent my dollars to other libraries. I will not come back here with my money until things feel different here."
Another member of the community, Thomas Flynn, also commented during the meeting, asking the board what it learned from having Mielke as director.
"Having Linda as director here should be a challenge to the community and members of the board," Flynn said. "What has the board learned from having Linda as director? What does that mean in relation to selecting a new director?"
Flynn's questions were not answered by the board during the meeting.