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Letter for Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Every story has two sides

Why did seven directors resign from the board of the Friends of the Princeville Library?

A letter sent to the membership by the remaining two directors and by the branch manager to the membership, announced the resignations on Oct. 5.

This letter implied that all of us resigned because of our inability to adapt to the “fresh skills and viewpoints” of the two new board members.

It is true that the contrast between the new directors and other director’s way of functioning as a team created a climate of frustration and discontent on both sides.

Neither side was totally right or wrong. Integration of the new members was further hampered by the inability to meet in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event that was the catalyst for the resignations occurred at our Sept. 9 Zoom board meeting was a comment made by new member that she felt they were treated differently because they were “persons of color.” We were all blindsided by her comment. We all categorically deny there is any truth to her claim. The branch manager stated she would meet with the new members to discuss the issue. We never received any information regarding the outcome of this meeting.

The seven directors resigned because of the “persons-of-color” comment, the lack of information from the branch manager and the fact that the new members never made the effort to contact the directors to resolve the issue. Instead, they elected to send a letter to the membership. The seven directors did not choose to resign, they felt they had no choice but to resign.

Over the years, we have interacted and worked with numerous new directors. We have listened and worked cooperatively with each new member, and we adjusted to the managerial differences of each branch manager assigned to the library (six by my count during my eight years as president.)

It has been my good fortune to work with a wonderful group of directors. They have lived on Kaua‘i for many years and have shared their deep knowledge of aloha. They are intelligent, creative, humble, resourceful, inclusive and caring. I cannot thank them enough for their support during my tenure as president of the board.

In conclusion, I would like to thank all the volunteers, board directors, used-book-sale team, speakers, library staff and members of the friends. Because of your support, the new board will be able to continue to financially support the library.

Laura McConnell, ex-president and a “person of color.”

Andrea Slevin

Anne Schneider

Jacqui Fournier

Dorothy Sasaki

Susan Dierker

Michelle Thomas
Source: The Garden Island

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