Orange County Commissioner Mike Nelson says the county board had no prior warning of the cuts made last week to the Carrboro Branch Library.
"You know when we found out?" Nelson said a few minutes ago. "We found out when the press release went out last week."
The cuts in the commissioners' former town (Nelson was a mayor and alderman of Carrboro) were especially surprising because Nelson had asked the county manager at a meeting thi spring when the commissioners would be talking about library services. The answer was October.
And one of the things the commissioners were going to talk about was the library task force's recommendation that the county increase services in the southwest part of the county -- the area served by the Carrboro Branch -- not decrease them.
OTHER LIBRARY NEWS
Coincidentally, the county sent out this release today:
Brenda Wilson Stephens, Orange County Library Director, has announced her retirement effective November 1, 2008.
Stephens began her library career in Orange County over 30 years ago, driving the bookmobile. She advanced to Library Director, a position she has held since 1993 when the library system moved under Orange County Government. She has also served as the Regional Director for the Hyconeechee Regional Library System covering Caswell, Orange and Person counties.
Stephens fondly remembers the early years. “When I began my career, at Confederate Memorial Library in the quiet downtown of Hillsborough, Edna Dawkins put me to work driving the bookmobile. Each day was an opportunity to touch another area in the county and extend the positive programs of the Library to another resident of the County,” Stephens said.
The public library system has evolved significantly in the past three decades. When Stephens started work with the library there were no computers at the library. There were no DVDs, CDs or even VHS tapes to be checked out. The library catalog system has moved from paper cards to a highly refined electronic database which can be accessed anywhere in the world.
“Brenda Stephens has set a high standard of service, both in terms of extending library opportunities throughout the county and in setting an example for her strong, responsive staff,” Barry Jacobs, Chair of the Orange County Commissioners said.
With a new library slated for opening in the spring, search for a new director will start immediately.