Autumn on Lake Audobon

Autumn on Lake Audobon
Autumn on Lake Audubon, Photo by Alison Kamat

Monday, September 22, 2014

Is Chairman Bulova interfering with the authority of the County Public Library Board of Trustees?

Sharon Bulova, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, spoke briefly near the beginning of the meeting the FCPL Director Search Committee.  The committee comprises two FCPL trustees, two librarians, Bulova's Chief of Staff Clayton Medford, Deputy County Executive Dave Molchany, and Dwayne Ketch, a member of the Library Foundation.

According to the Library of Virginia Public Library Trustee Handbook, the County Library Board hires the director.
One of the most important functions of the governing board of trustees is the hiring of a competent library director. It may, in fact, be the most important single act undertaken bythe board. Trustees should be aware of current practices in the profession, requirementsimposed by the Code of Virginia, as well as The Library Board requirements and regulations,the current needs and direction of the library, and competitive professional salaries and benefits. 
And the Fairfax County website reinforces for the Library Board of Trustees statutory role:  "In Fairfax County, the Board of Supervisors created the Library Board of Trustees which is responsible for library functions, policy, and direction. As with the State Board, the local Board appoints a Director of Libraries to administer the Board's policies and objectives."

And here is what Board Chairman Bulova told the committee according to a transcription of the meeting:
I just want to say you know, this is important. ..  I want to say thank you, all of you, for participating  in the selection process.

The Board of Supervisors is very very, interested in this process, we're very interested in who will become the next director of library system ... So it's important that we are sort of joined at the hip during these months so that we're all on same page, so that we're all pulling together, and working together.

Let me just say because I think you guys are already aware of this.  You are a Board of trustees of the library, the library board, which is an authority.  And by law you could select someone yourself without the Board of Supervisors' blessing, but I know that you understand that that's not okay, that we need to be involved with you. 
And so the Board is very, very interested in making sure that we have the opportunity to weigh in, that we have the opportunity to help with this process.
 Is this intimidation?  tampering?  Sort of sounds like it.

2 comments:

  1. I was told that the Library Board of Trustees asked the Board of Supervisors for assistance/involvement. They've never had to select a director before because the current director has been there for 35 or so years and want to do it right.

    The BoS doesn't seem to care enough about the library to engage in any political intrigue. Chairman Bulova's comments do seem a bit intimidating as presented here, but there's no context. Would you clarify the date of this meeting and the source of the transcript?

    I'm not sure what purpose this post serves. The Fairfax County Public Library faces many challenges, including yet more budget cuts. It would be better served if the people who care about it would put their energy into something more constructive.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The meeting was recorded by an attendee who prepared a transcript of Chairman Bulova's remarks as presented above. For a complete summary of the meeting please see this post: http://reston2020.blogspot.com/2014/09/notes-from-fc-public-library-board-of.html

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are welcome and encouraged as long as they are relevant, constructive, and decent.