Library staff down, programs put on hold

TORRINGTON – The Goshen County Library will be down a staff member as two programs are being paused.

Interlibrary loan clerk Rhonda Everman is retiring and the Goshen County Library board isn’t going to fill that position. That brings the number of full-time staff members from four to three. Also, Observe the Moon night and the Charcoal and Quill Guild are currently on hiatus status, Interim Director Mike Durfee said.

The library “had to look at what everybody was doing,” Durfee said. “In a nutshell, we are trying to take a step back, again, because there is one less full-time adult.”

Board president Ellen Creagar said it was a budget decision to not replace Everman, which leaves the library with three full-time and two part-time staff members. The programs pausing was the board wanting to “make sure we have enough energy,” Everman said. The board wants to “put forward some new plans.”

Observe the Moon Night wouldn’t have worked Oct. 21 because of the timing of the moon rise, Durfee said.

The board wants to “make sure the things we are doing are focused on the community’s kind of literacy and creative ideas and to do things that we do really well instead of being  scattershot,” Creagar said. “We’re really trying to invest our technologies. We want to pull back.”

Currently, the library can’t afford computer operating system upgrades and needs new lighting and infrastructure, Creagar said.

“We’re pretty excited about making the space safe,” Creagar said. The board wants to focus on creating “a physical space that mirrors what our community needs a little bit.

“The library hasn’t changed much in the years of existence. And libraries need to change,” she said. “Libraries have to change into these spaces where they are pushing the creative future and the technological future.”

Efforts at improving the library infrastructure haven’t focused on what’s really needed, such as computers and staff, Creagar said. The library needs to be more than a place for people who read, but a  “space for people to come and be creative.

“The library can be the place where we can (have) new technology,” she said. “We’ve had a bunch of conversations about that and we are starting to move that way in terms of our investments.”

With Durfee serving as interim director, Creagar said it is uncertain when the board will hire a new, full-time director.

“When we find the right person, we will have a new full-time,” Creagar said.

The library will still see at least four librarians at any time, Cregar said. Library hours will remain the same, Durfee said. Some programs like storytime and the annual booksale will also remain.

“I guess all of the day-to-day things are still going on here,” Durfee said.


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