Ex-library director faces charges

By BOB GARDINIER, Staff writer
First published in print: Saturday, June 26, 2010
SCHODACK — Darlene Miller, the former Castleton Public Library director fired in September, faces misdemeanor charges for altering library computer records, town police said.

Miller was charged Friday with misdemeanor conspiracy; a charge of petit larceny is pending against her, said Schodack Police Detective James Morgan.

She was issued an appearance ticket and released to return for further proceedings on July 7, Morgan said.

The charges were not related to the reason Miller was fired, but stem from Miller allegedly accessing the Village of Castleton computer system sometime after she left the library and deleting information on outstanding late-return fines.

”It is a very small amount of money involved and might amount to $80,” Morgan said.

Morgan did not know the motive for Miller’s alleged actions.

Conspiracy charges are also pending against another former employee who worked in concert with Miller. Morgan refused to release that person’s name.

Miller’s abrupt firing last year caused a groundswell of support for her that led to the creation of the blogsite ”Save the Castleton Library” and to a lawsuit in state Supreme Count over the makeup of the board of directors.

Miller was fired from the $40,000 post by the library board, which refused comment, calling the matter a personnel issue. Miller’s supporters have said the move was made as a result of a long-standing disagreement between the board of trustees and Miller over library programs.

The issue also became a tug of war over equal representation on the board by residents of both the village and the town in which the village lies. Both financially support the branch.

Library directors have not returned calls for comment.

Miller was not immediately available for comment.

A lawsuit in state Supreme Court over the makeup of the board of directors filed in April was dropped this week in an agreement by both parties, said County Court Clerk Richard Reilly, leaving the current board intact.

The lawsuit filed by the library board of directors against the state Education Department was in reaction to the state moving to unilaterally appoint a new board.

The Education Department intervened in the local library operations after some village residents complained about the board firing Miller and said board members had not taken their oaths of office, making them ineligible to serve.

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=945021#ixzz0s0xTmrDf


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Columbia Paper Article May 15, 2010 by Catherine Sager

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2000 BOOKS GONE! Library Trustees Gone Wild

The battle to get Mrs. Miller reinstated isn’t over yet. In late February, the Castleton Public Library board of trustees, was replaced by the state Board of Regents. After launching a probe into library operations, Officials at the State Education Department found the trustees were not legally entitled to their positions. Read the full story in the Albany Times Union.

We have a new Village Mayor, Joe Keegan. New blood means new energy, and new commitment. Let Mayor Keegan know this issue is important to you as a community!

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Library Trustee meeting tonight, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m.

A quick reminder:

The Library Trustee meeting has been rescheduled to Monday, November 23rd at 7 p.m. at the library. If you can, please drop by and make your feelings known.

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Village board meeting tonight, Monday, Nov. 9th, 7:30 p.m.

The Village Board will host a meeting is tonight, Monday, Nov. 9th at 7:30 p.m. This would be a good opportunity to ask the Village if there is any update on the status of our library. Try and make it out if you can.

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Columbia Paper article addresses “why” of Miller termination

The Columbia Paper ran a great piece this Saturday, written by Catherine Sager. It reported the strong turnout for the candlelight vigil but, more importantly, did what hasn’t been done thus far: detailed some of the library board’s assertions for firing Darlene Miller. An excerpt from the story is as follows:

“The letter [termination letter from the board] goes on to say that The Board of Trustees found her performance to be unsatisfactory in the areas of collection building, collection maintenance, premises maintenance and personnel management.

“Moreover, it is the Board of Trustees’ belief that you have failed to maintain a positive working relationship with the board, have failed to supply the board with requested information, and made certain decisions without properly consulting the board and have disregarded certain explicit directions of the board.

In a phone interview following last month’s meeting, Mr. Howards said, “The Board of Trustees has taken their fiduciary responsibilities very seriously. I believe there is a rational basis for their action.

“Ms. Miller was let go with two weeks’ pay as severance; she was given three days to return her keys and any library property she may have.

“Despite the board’s position that Ms. Miller had not adequately developed the collection, the board reported this week that the library has gone over its budget for books on tape for adults. Books on tape are often requested by residents at Castle Hill and Resurrection Nursing Home. The board also said that some children’s programming would need to be cut.”

You can read the full story for yourself by pasting the URL below into your web browser address bar: http://www.columbiapaper.com/index.php/the-news/581-catherne-sager-

Thanks to Catherine Sager for answering a lot of the questions that, to date, have gone unanswered.

I don’t know about you, but I still want my librarian back.

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Library Journal covers Castleton Library situation

The Library Journal is also covering the situation on it’s online publication. To view the text of that article, cut and paste the link below into your address bar:


Thanks again to Carol Dratch-Kovler who continues to work hard to raise awareness of this issue. Great quotes!

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