Proposed ouster an outrage
At a meeting of the Friends of the Rockingham Library on Sept. 4, members present were shocked to learn that on Aug. 29, the personnel committee of the Rockingham Free Public Library board of trustees recommended to the trustees the dismissal of Célina Houlné as director of the library. The trustees adjourned the meeting to be reconvened on Sept. 18, to give Ms. Houlné time to respond to the charges against her.
The leadership of the Friends of Rockingham Library, an organization of patrons and citizens designed to support the library in its mission, is appalled by the actions of the personnel committee. Many of us on the Friends’ board have worked closely with Ms. Houlné and know that she has served with the utmost professionalism during her tenure, has the full and abiding endorsement of the library staff, the support of a large number of library patrons, and the respect of other librarians throughout the state of Vermont. She has done an outstanding job of providing library services to the library patrons and the general public throughout the very difficult period of the library building renovation, and has overseen the relocation of the library into temporary space during the final phases of the renovation. Ms. Houlné has provided stellar leadership with grace, charm, and integrity. Rather than seeking to dismiss Ms. Houlné, the personnel committee should be writing letters of commendation and recommending a salary increase in appreciation for a job well done.
As a result of our first-hand knowledge and experience with Ms. Houlné, we feel the personnel committee has made a grievous error in judgment and that the error must be rectified.
Therefore, at the reconvened meeting of the Rockingham Free Public Library Board of Trustees on Sept. 18, we the undersigned, as officers and other board members of the Friends of the Rockingham Library and as concerned citizens, call for: a) the personnel committee to withdraw its recommendation for Ms. Houlné’s dismissal, and/or b) the library trustees to vote down the committee’s recommendation. We ask that members of the personnel committee and all of the trustees of the Rockingham Free Public Library set aside any personal issues that may be involved, and do what is right for Ms. Houlné, the library, and our community at large.
Friends of the Library)
Also signing this letter were Nancy Kovaleff, Betty Haggerty, David Gould, Arnold Clift, Susan Warner and Susan Lampe-Wilson.