What follows are the full texts of Monroe County Public Library Director Cindy Gray's resignation letter and the library board's statement of acceptance.
The Board of Trustees of Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) accepts the resignation of MCPL Director Cynthia A. Gray, effective August 31, 2007. During her 2 ½ year tenure, Monroe County Public Library has had positive accomplishments under her leadership.
With the resignation of director Gray, the Board of Trustees now looks to the future. The Board, the staff, and our patrons will continue our work to make a great library even better.
Board of Trustees of Monroe County Public Library
From: Cindy Gray
Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2007 6:37 PM
Subject: MCPL Resignation
Dear Board of Trustees & Staff:
Let me first say, that I am thankful and grateful to the majority of MCPL staffers who have weathered the chaos of recent months in a forthright and upstanding manner. When they disagreed with administration or policies/procedures, they didn’t anonymously transmit misinformation via the media, their spouses, or friends. No, they voiced them internally in All Staff Meetings, Brown Bag Lunches, training sessions, and the like in an effort to affect change in a positive manner. As I said last year, these people have a strong work ethic, they work for the common good - not for their own self interests - and they understand that sometimes decisions need to be made that have the long term interests of the library at heart.
I leave, admitting that I made some personal mistakes that I will live with forever. I also accept full responsibility for those actions/decisions. But, I stand behind the majority of the professional decisions and choices that I have been involved with while at MCPL, as they were always made for the common good and were strictly management decisions, not personal, not meant to intimidate, reward favorites, or the many other allegations that have been thrown around publicly.
I leave feeling as though I did positively impact some lives at MCPL and my fervent hope is that, in time, these individuals will rise above the murky waters of today, and lead this library into the future.
I leave knowing that I focused on what the Board directed me to do, evaluate departments, adjust staff, look at any/all real and potential financial issues that might affect the stability of the library long-term, partner with agencies, go out into the community, and market the library.
I leave confident that my management decisions were made based on professional expertise and learned knowledge of libraries. They were not made maliciously or with any personal intent. Simply put, they were in the best interest of MCPL long term.
I leave knowing that the library’s ability to do more and formulate a sustainable funding base is never going to be possible with the unreasonable benefits structure the staff has created for themselves: the library pays the entire portion of their retirement plans, staff get paid back for up to 30 sick days upon retirement – sick days that are intended for health related issues, not compensation issues, all staff get 24 days of vacation their first year on duty, and, finally, the MCPL staff received 4, 5, and 6% pay increases in the early 2000s when others around the area received none. MCPL is not under staffed. In fact it has more degreed librarians than any other public library our size in the state – which partially explains why the personnel costs are so high.
This is a great community and it deserves a great library. But until the real public – the general public and those underserved - get involved, it will remain one that promotes arrogance and only the interest of a small percentage of the people of Monroe County. The Library is one institution that should not be politicized as it has been of late – whether you’re conducting a strategic planning process or union representation of staff.
I had nothing to prove professionally by coming to Bloomington – I have had a very successful and respected forty year career in libraries working for such things as equity issues related to staff (all staff), service to the underserved, leadership, and public funding and support.
I leave unashamed of what I attempted to do here. I will leave with my head held high and grateful for the opportunity.
Cynthia A. Gray