• • • • • • Editorial Page
By Library Board President Robert Callahan
Question: Regarding the increase of $ 5,000 on the third
The budget as submitted on the third vote was returned to
the original figure in order to cover expenses of the vote. This
additional cost was not necessary on the second vote because
the School Board, also having a second vote on its budget, bore
Question: Regarding the nonuse of the Library Community
Room by local organizations:
The cost of the use of the meeting room is not nominal. It
requires after- hours custodial care and clean- up. This extra
service must be cut off on a reduced budget.
Question: Regarding the use of the meeting room by the Friends
of the Farmingdale Library:
The Friends of the Farmingdale Library occupy a position
similar to that of the P. T. A. which is allowed to use school
facilities even under an austerity budget. This organization
has as its sole purpose the support of the Library program
and the encouragement of public interest in good library service.
Question: Concerning the custodian care of the Library:
The husband and wife team who clean the library are not independent
contractors but employees. They are likewise not
full- time employees but part time the two working a total of
40 hours at about $ 2.50 an hour, surely a moderate rate in
today's labor market. It should be noted that the Library has,
in past years, used independent contractors but has not been
satisfied. The job would be taken by the lowest bidder and the
Library Board would be required to accept work which did
not completely satisfy the Board. The present system is inexpensive
and produces work of the highest caliber.
Question: Concerning present rental of the Branch Library
and the statement that the Board could have already purchased
the building for rent already paid:
This question is hard to follow. The Library has been in
the Branch Library for only six years and has paid a total rent
of less than $ 150,000 whereas the option price is $ 250,000.
It further fails to take into account questions that must be considered
when contemplating purchase, such as; the desire-ability
of permanent location in the branch; costs connected
with a bond issue; interest on outstanding indebtedness loss of
tax revenues and other factors. It is sufficient to Say that the
mere accumulation of total rent paid and the statement that it
exceeds the price of the building represents bad arithmetic plus
an extremely naive view of the financial factors involved.
Question: Concerning the hiring of a reading specialist:
A reading program specialist fits in well with the Library
program, which concerns itself with the reading of books. It
was the judgment of the Board that the program planned for
many months before the vote and promising improvement of
future Library services, should go forward
Question: Concerning trips taken by the Director:
The statement that the director has failed to submit written
reports is false. The director always submits a full written
itinerary and financial report for each trip and reports orally
and in writing to the Board concerning the matters discussed
at each conference. In deed such a written report was submitted
at the July meeting attended by all Board members. All
these reports are available for public inspection.
Question: Concerning access to records:
All Trustees may have access to all records. The Board
has so ruled. The precise manner of access is now before the
Supreme Court of Nassau County and all parties will be bound
by its rulings.
Question: Concerning the Paris Review:
The decision of the Board concerning the Paris Review is
fully documented in its June minutes. The decision cites many
Supreme Court and New York Court opinions which led * to the
Board's conclusion. The minority Trustee has not cited a single
case or other authority for his interpretation of the law.
On the question of the commission of a crime by displaying
the Paris Review, it might be noted that the Trustee first raising
the obsenity issue now apprears to agree with the majority.
His first position as we understand it was that the Paris Review
was so obviously obscene as to justify a citizen seizure
to prevent a crime being perpetrated. He has now retreated
to a present position that merely claims that the spirit of the
law is violated ( whatever that means).
Question: Concerning the purchase of films:
All films are purchased on their merits. Regarding the use
of free films it must be pointed out that such films are not spurned
but frequently used. In fact, in the past year a weekly health
series alone used at least 30 films, aU free, from industrial
and educational sources. The reason such free items do not
* * * * * *
by Library Trustee Carl E. Gorton
I wish to thank The Observer for this opportunity to " clear
the air" of a few of the false charges and misstatements of fact
which have been so " liberally" thrown about in the press, including
this paper, concerning the library issue.
To begin with, " The Friends of Farmingdale" is not " my"
group and I have no acquaintance with them whatsoever, despite
what was printed in this paper last week! However, it is obvious
from the questions and statements in their ads that they
have been attending Board meetings and checking the minutes!
It is gratifying to know that this controversy has awakened people
who are willing to spend their own money to fight a battle
of Principle based on facts!
What is not obvious, from his " answers" to the questions in
the ads, is that Mr. Callahan, Library Board President, was
also present at these meetings. This may simply be due to a
lapse of memory.
In answer to question one, he states that the budget " was returned
to the original figure in order to cover expenses of the
vote". Yet, at the last board meeting he stated that the expense
of the vote would be covered by the savings from the cutback in
services during the summer. He also stated that no consideration
had been given to a third budget defeat!
In answer to question two, he states that " the cost of the use
of the meeting room is not nominal." Yet I brought to his attention
at the last board meeting the library regulations governing
use of the meeting rooms. These state: " There is no fee
for the use of meeting rooms during Library hours. A charge
of $ 3.00 per hour or fraction thereof, is made to cover building
and staff expenses after the regular closing hour." Mr. Callahan
obviously has a warped sense of values if he considers a
$ 30,000 budget increase to be nominal and $ 3.00 per hour for
overtime use of the library, which the using organization pays,
to be too expensive, especially in view of the tremendous bargain
in cleaning services which he indicates we are getting, in
reply to question four.
In answer to question three, he states, " The Friends of the
Farmingdale Library occupy a position similar to that of the
P. T. A." As was pointed out to him, this is not the case whatsoever,
inasmuch as the " Friends" are not granted any special
privileges under the law or library policy, as is the P- TA.
Furthermore, there is no such thing as an " austerity" budget
with consequent mandatory reductions in service as has been
( Continued on Page 9)
appear as a budgetary item ought to be obvious. Purchased
films fill a different need and are permanent acquisitions available
always for school, club and even private home use.
Answering the charge concerning purchase of film from a
distributor of Communist propaganda, it should be said that the
allegation is unfounded. The single Trustee now making this
charge handed over at the last Board meeting a paper which
attacked a man associated with a company from which the Library
purchases films. The paper did not discuss at all the
merits of the material distributed by the company and, in fact,
the minority trustee stated that the board ought not look into
the merits of the material in order to determine his request
that business relations be severed.
We believe that there are times in American history when
its people determine a course to be followed in the future. Such
a course was determined in recent decades. We can no more
go back to an era of guilt by association and innuendo or blacklisting
than we can go back to the question of slavery or the responsibility
of the society to see the education of each of its
Question: Concerning per capita costs for Library services:
The cost of $ 3.00 per capita referred to appears in an outdated
Trustees handbook published in 1954 and republished in
1959 and represents an updating of a figure originally used in
1943. It has no relevance to today's world. The Farmingdale
Library is in the lower range of per capita expenditures of
Nassau County libraries.
Published every Thursday by
THE OBSERVER, INC.
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farmingdale OBSERVER Thursday, August 24, 1967
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