I never thought I’d be pushed to write this letter

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As Great Neck Library Association members you understand how this current Board of Trustees is excluding you from your ability to learn and know about the library and its governance?

Have you an understanding of how this Board of Trustees is eliminating your ability to acquire information about its policies, practices and bylaws? Also, how it is alienating attempts to question and receive answers by creating barriers to getting information?

Are you fooled by attempts to say that changes are required to streamline practice, reduce reiteration and increase interest? Are you cowed by unwarranted personal attacks and a misuse of the internet?

The current trustees have forgotten that they are only custodians of a “jewel” of our community that keeps our real estate, in conjunction with our schools and parks, in demand; providing opportunities. You, as an association member pay for the library—staff, acquisition, usage policies and all the New York State laws and guidelines that must be followed. Checks and balances, established over the library’s long history, are or will be eliminated. Below is an abbreviated list of how a severe lack of community information, and communication through the publication of its policies leads to your and new trustee ignorance.

Therefore, you will not be aware of violations that are occurring. For instance, the FOI law, used to get information, has been excised so that you will never know it exists and how or when to use this procedure. Elimination of the Open Meetings Law will lead to unawareness of violations that are or have occurred. Appropriate meetings procedures are also eliminated. The Great Neck Library policy manual is being edited to omit all information about governance, procedures and practices.

1. Community interaction has been curtailed. Committees have been eliminated, seemingly for the convenience of some Trustees and lack reaching out to patrons. Therefore, as a patron and taxpayer, opportunities to participate, ask questions and receive answers are almost nonexistent.

2. Community announcements of meetings appear only on the website, which is difficult to maneuver and presupposes that all library users are able and comfortable in using a computer. This board has already spent a lot of your money and time to develop an ineffective tool.

3. Materials about meetings are so lengthy and unwieldy that anyone who wishes to access them has to reprint tens of pages or ignore them completely. The materials appended are often so complicated that the ability to interpret and internalize is limited at best. There has been pushback to providing printed material when requested and past practice.

4. Rules about meetings have been changed so that patron interaction occurs without the ability to add necessary information for decision-making. The visual absence of trustees during this time of virtual meetings allows for abuses in attendance and transparency of opinions.

5. Made-up scenarios have been promulgated to support individual trustee opinions. It has also been the practice to talk about Great Neck residents in a void and make one opinion representative of a whole community.

6. There has been no published information about the search and hiring of a permanent system director.

7. And lastly, the order of printed meeting agendas has been changed and current appropriate meeting behavior has been ignored. The prevailing attitudes reflect ignoring history, experience, operations and democratic inclination.

—Josie Pizer

2 COMMENTS

  1. Assuming these alleged changes can be independently verified, they are disturbing to say the least. If implemented, the alleged changes may be contrary to the public interest since transparency in the Board’s members is needed in the operations assigned by the library bylaws to the member trustees. They are elected by the voting residents of the Village of Great Neck.

    No further comment, pending independent verification of the author’s charges or rebuttal thereof by the duly authorized representative of the board of trustees.

  2. Yes. Mimi Hu is in charge and she is hiding all information. They held secret elections that nobody knew about and they ignore emails from everyone. FBI needs to investigate

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