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Library Budget - Response to Mrs. Butts

Mrs. Butts- I have hit the recommend button on your comments so more people may notice your thoughts and mine.  I  think anyone who read my comments with an open mind might have noticed that I clearly stated that I agree that the library is great right now. So yes, I love it as you do. The comments I made (civilly) expressed my concerns.  I'm so sorry that you consider that "asinine," (defined as unintelligent, silly or stupid). My comments were in no way rude, sarcastic or mean-spirited and I don't think I deserve such a response. I'm grateful that Mr. Morkan and Mrs. O'Neil's responses were professional and informative.   They may not agree with me, but they know how to string some meaningful words together. You stated, "Obviously the position of library directer [sic] is not one of supreme commander." Yes. And that is why you might notice that my latest comments were addressed to the two Library Board members who appeared to be interested. It is also interesting that you wrote, "You certainly have an opinion about everything. I guess anyone can have an opinion even if they don't know anything about the subject they are giving an opinion on." Since my comments were strictly about the library, I don't know how that could appear that I have an opinion about everything. And strangely, at the same time you charge me with having an opinion about everything, you also chastise me for NOT having an opinion about all the other departments. And also in response to those comments, it would seem that I know as much about the library as you do.  You wrote, "Maybe you live in a McMansion Karen but I work hard to live in simsbury and pay my taxes like everyone else. It's a hardship ..." I believe I very clearly stated that I do NOT live in a McMansion and that I work very hard. I also have hard choices and hardships. I do not live a remotely glamorous life, and I think that was clear. I didn't say anything about my children's days being filled with private lessons. They're not. However, I encourage my children to be as active as possible and work hard, making sacrifices to find the money for a limited number of activities that mean the most to them. I also encourage my children to be responsible, study, do their chores, volunteer, find odd or part-time jobs if they need income. My children know how to be engaged in life and don't make it others' responsibility.  They enjoy spending some time with their family, too. We have one thing in common-- I also was very disappointed that the teen center closed. But our community remains rich with culture, recreation, clubs, activities and services. Including the teen services already offered at the library. The library provides an excellent, current selection of books, DVDs, etc. for teens. And obviously, teens also access and enjoy the adult offerings. There are already librarians to help them at the information desk and plenty of computers. There’s teen summer reading specifically for them with programs, classes, reading competition and prizes. They can meet in groups to study or even play a game. They can volunteer their services- I've seen volunteers doing all sorts of activities there. And the library seems to accommodate volunteers of all mental and physical capacities. Volunteering is good for a resume, job, scholarship or college application. And of course, it teaches civic involvement, responsibility and shows them they have value and skills that matter, increasing their confidence.  If they have suggestions for teen groups, clubs, classes or programs not offered, they're free to share those with the librarians. Of course I personally don't want to see teens just hanging out at the library and needing to be watched. I don't think we should be increasing their budget for that. And I don't think the librarians went to graduate school to be paid to do that.  As a town, we don't have fun money and we can't keep adding discretionary money to every departments' budget every year. We already have known and unknown increases every year-- like contractual salary increases and rising utility bills. We have only so much money to go around. Unless, of course, you’d like to see your taxes really increase. Hard choicces need to be made. WHen the library is already loved, great and already has teen services, maybe this shouldn’t be the year they get to add extras. We spent a lot of money on the library to renovate and expand it. In my view, it has a deserved, generous portion of the town budget already. And since you brought it up, I do believe that at this time, we need the police more than increased staff hours at the library. And I've heard that one or two police officers are retiring this year. Regarding public works-- that staff keeps our buildings and parking lots clean, safe and to code. They manage all of the services the buildings need. They have a lot of territory to cover and if they have shown that they need another staff member I'd be inclined to believe them, but I'd still want to see some evidence. I believe that we should put money where it will be providing the most necessary and vital services in town, like social services-- a department that can help the people who can't afford to heat their house, or are about to lose that house altogether, the veterans, disabled and elderly on fixed budgets. If the library could increase teen services through a grant or generous donation, I'd certainly feel more comfortable about that. But I haven't heard that mentioned.  I am not anti-library. I am also not an unrealistic curmudgeon who rants, offends, attacks and complains about opinions different than mine or every item the town spends money on, and I do have faith in our Selectmen. And when people respond with thoughtful, civil dialogue I welcome it. It's supposed to be a conversation. A civil conversation. 
Karen March 17, 2014 at 06:45 PM
This is truly unbelievable. Crazy! Can people really not voice their opinion without being attacked? The Simsbury Library is now yelling at me? That gives me a warm and tingly feeling, let me tell ya. No, I can assure you I have no "grudge" against the new director or anyone there. Of course, if the Director is the "SimsburyLibrary" spokesperson here, I'm a wee bit concerned. No wonder not that many people are willing to put themselves out there and when they do they use initials and descriptives instead of names. Is hiding behind those bad? I am also amazed that "SimsburyLibrary" as an entity has such a response. I'm an employee? Really? That's your response? I'm an employee that doesn't want the town to give me more money? That's so likely. You write, "I know your [sic] an employee because you know way too much about the library and how it is run." I didn't realize that saying I think the library is great and understanding what the library has to offer and talking about it is a rant. I also don't understand why you think an employee would be the only one to have such "inside" knowledge as the fact that you have books, DVDs, computers, and classes. At a library. My goodness, who knew?!? Maybe I know a few people who have a slightly more in-depth knowledge about the library than I would entirely on my own. I think most of the town probably knows at least one person who works or volunteers at the library. I'm pretty sure everything I know is public knowledge and I don't think I was talking about any state secrets, not betraying a confidential conversation. Does the Simsbury Library really feel so threatened by a Patch Speak Out that it needs to resort to accusations like this? This is not a mature or professional reaction and we deserve better. And it doesn't even address my concerns. I guess Simsbury Library hasn't thought of an informative response, only misguided, uncontrollable anger. Or is this just some random staff member ranting? Someone hiding behind the entire library instead of their first name? And I for one don't think my Speak Out comments are "rants", as accused. If I were the library I certainly wouldn't be so unprofessional. And I wouldn't feel threatened by one woman's comments. I wouldn't even still be responding or talking about this issue except I keep getting attacked by angry people who tell me I'm somehow terrible for stating that I'd rather see town funds go to the police services and social services than an increase in the library services that seem very good now. This gives me a whole new appreciation for what thick skins our politicians must need to get through every day. I guess I'll just shut up because I'm fed up and freaked out. Congratulations, "SimsburyLibrary", you win.
Barbara March 18, 2014 at 08:19 AM
Karen, If that's really your name which I highly doubt. For the past week you have posted long, tedious tirades about the library, which in the beginning sounded legitimate. Now, you want the people of Simsbury to believe that you have no personal interest in what the library does and you are only expressing an opinion? As Shakespeare said You protest too much. Now you are excusing the library director of hiding under a pseudonym to attack you? I would think she has more to do than respond to your comments for the exorborant amount of money you claim she makes. The more you continue to post the more you are proving yourself to be an unstable, whining woman (if you really are a woman). Stop wasting my time and the people who read the Patch and climb back into the hole you crawled out of.
Diana March 18, 2014 at 03:49 PM
This is the craziest dialogue I think I've ever seen here! I think the responses to Karen from Mrs. Butts, and then the later accusation (Simsbury Library)are irresponsible and mean- spirited. I guess I should put on my armor now, because I have now put myself in the firing line. Btw..I also think our library is an incredible, extraordinary facility ..much better than many in our state. With all the seemingly paranoid accusations here, I'm wondering if Simsbury Library retort is actually from the library? If that is from an employee there, I think they should be outed and chastised for making such an erroneous accusation! This is unethical, unprofessional, and it grieves me to think that a town employee is making a public accusation on a public forum erroneously. Bad form. Karen, welcome to Nutty-town!
SimsburyLibrary March 18, 2014 at 05:53 PM
Diana, I am not the SimsburyLibrary but I am able to post to this board using the name. My real name is Nathan. I really love the Simsbury Library and I don't want anyone to think badly of it. I don't really believe that anyone from the library would post on this board. I love all the ladies there, they are so helpful. I think someone is trying to make the library look bad to fit their own agenda. I agree with you Diana in believing that the answer did not come from the library at all.
Diana March 19, 2014 at 02:03 PM
Nathan, are you also Barbara and Mrs. Butts? I googled her name and she isn't real either. Too bad an open forum san go so open loop crazy.

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