Many patrons of Euchee Creek Library were shocked that the director, John Welch, is being transferred to the reference desk at the Evans Library. Mary Lin Maner, the head of all three county libraries, came to Euchee Creek Sept. 16 and told Welch he was being transferred in two weeks.
Evidently this decision was made Sept. 14 by powers who are in charge of such decisions. After numerous phone calls to Barry Smith, Ron Cross, Scott Dean and others by concerned patrons, the regularly scheduled Coffee Club at Euchee Creek library became the battle ground. Maner, Smith and others associated with the library, plus upset and questioning patrons, were in attendance. One patron brought posters proclaiming her dismay with strong statements of protest.
Welch does not have a library science degree, and this was used as the strongest argument against him. We were told by Maner and Smith that a state mandate requires any library director with three or more employees under them to have this degree. This mandate evidently has been in place for many years. If that is the case, why now was it used to replace Welch?
He was hired when the Euchee Creek Library opened some 16 years ago. He was never informed he was required to have this degree to keep this job. How many of the libraries have directors with this required degree?
There were other reasons given for Welch's transfer; some were stated and others not for privacy reasons. How convenient that someone "recalled" this mandate, all behind closed doors, as obviously this decision wasn't made overnight.
Columbia County follows in the path of most governments: We do as we want without your knowledge or chance for input, just pay your taxes and we will decide what you need as you don't have to know until we have already made the decisions.
Margaret Ann Hogue
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