STANFORD — Lincoln County Fiscal Court heard concerns Tuesday about turnover at the Lincoln County Public Library from former library advisory board member Keith Lemons.
Lemons quit the board angrily in November 2010 after longtime library director Kay Peppard was forced to retire by the library’s executive board. At the time, Lemons told the board, “I am handing in my resignation because of the treatment and humiliation you subjected Kay to. No one should have to go through that,” he said, “I can’t condone it any longer, therefore I am resigning.”
Now the library has lost another head librarian and its accounts payable clerk, and it’s clear Lemons holds the executive board responsible.
“We’ve lost our librarian ... again. My question is how are members placed on the board? How much control do you have?” Lemons asked the Fiscal Court.
The short answer is “none.”
The Fiscal Court gets a list of qualified candidates from the state Department of Libraries and Archives and votes them onto the executive board. Judge-Executive Jimbo Adams told Lemons the library is its own taxing district and does not answer to the Fiscal Court.
Lemons said with the library continually voting for tax increases, a huge amount of money is involved. “Soon, they will take in as much money as the county does,” Lemons said.
Librarian Jamie Mingo, who replaced Peppard in 2010, resigned from her post last week.
County Attorney Daryl Day told the Fiscal Court that Lemons is not alone in his concern for the turnover at the library. “People have stopped me on the street. People have called my office; they are very concerned,” he said.
Magistrate David Faulkner said he also has heard the same concern from library patrons.
Lemons voiced concern about how the loss of another director has affected the staff. “I’m in the library at least three times a week, and morale is a concern.”
Day said removing board members is a lengthy process that would involve hearings to determine cause. Lemons responded saying, “We’ve got a beautiful library, but we have to make sure it is as good on the inside as it is on the outside.”