The main purpose of our attendance at this meeting is to expand our reach with regards to advocacy for the library. The Lafayette Parish Council appoints all but one member of the library Board of Control; therefore, we feel they bear a large part of the responsibility for the inept leadership, attempts at censorship, and frankly, complete chaos that has resulted from those appointments. As citizens, it is our duty to inform them (and continue to inform them) of the ongoing consequences of their choices on the public library system in our parish.
The situation we find ourselves is unprecedented. Never, in the history of our library system have we found ourselves governed by a Board of Control so consumed with destroying the very library it was charged with protecting and serving. Therefore, as of now, there is no council procedure in place to remove sitting board members. As citizens who love and cherish our library, it is our duty to request that the parish council step in and adopt such a procedure.
LCG Council meetings' policy states that citizens may speak at the Parish Council meetings on items not on the agenda at the FIRST meeting of the month, and at the City Council meeting at the SECOND meeting of the month. Because of this, we would ask everyone who loves the library and can do so to please attend the FIRST Parish Council meeting each month in order to speak during this time. The larger the crowd we have, the more urgent they will understand our need to be. If you don't wish to speak, you can always come and just sit! You can also call in comments before the meeting begins.
Remember, you will only have 3 minutes to speak. When you enter the council chamber, you can get a speaker's form from Clerk of the Council Veronica Williams.
Comments From the Public On Any Matter Not On This Agenda -August 2, 2022
This month, we are speaking on behalf of North Regional manager and librarian Cara Chance. As many of you know, on July 25 library board President Robert Judge attempted to summarily fire Cara. He did so without the due process deserved under LCG civil service rules, without proper public notice, and without her direct supervisor's consent or presence. He did so in an obvious act of censorship and personal grievance. He did so in a manner so egregiously wrong that only one of his fellow board members approved of his actions.
This is also not the first time Mr. Judge has acted out of personal self-service rather than in the best interests of the library. Again and again in his tenure as President, he has brought confusion, embarrassment, and needless debate and controversy to a library system already struggling financially. His attempts to rewrite the mission statement, the Board of Control bylaws, and change the composition of reconsideration committees show a complete lack of understanding for how library's are run, and the culture of fear and intimidation he has created among the librarians has turned our once great library system into a shadow of its former self.
Though the Parish Council has no doubt heard about Mr. Judge's actions through extensive media coverage, they need to hear about these issues directly from the public, from patrons of our library. I hope to see you all there!