Saturday, March 14, 2015
Fairfax Library Advocates Meet with Supervisor Cathy Hudgins
Members of Fairfax Library Advocates and the Reston Friends met with Supervisor Cathy Hudgins of the Hunters Mill District and the new branch manager at Reston Regional, Daria Parnes. The Advocates were there to note the disproportionate budgetary cuts the Library has taken over the past ten years and specifically to request the Board of Supervisors restore funding for the circulation aide positions eliminated in the FY16 Advertised Budget. It was pointed out to Supervisor Hudgins that circulation aides provide necessary services to the library. She was given a list of their many duties and told how their loss places an unsustainable burden of the remaining staff. The loss of their positions will also impact the ability of the library to keep its posted hours. The elimination of the allotment from their slots will reduce by one-third the amount of overtime available to staff the library.
Also discussed was the ongoing inappropriate request from the County's Board Auditor for information on the Friends' financial transactions. This is being pursued despite it having now been repeatedly confirmed that this is the result of what appears to be a deliberate misreading of a Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Association request that the Library Administration's practices be audited. The Advocates thanked Supervisor Hudgins for voting against the demand for an audit. The Advocates stressed their desire to work collaboratively with the County but this was difficult when the County officials are not prepared to work with the public or even provide timely information. For example, despite the public relations disaster of the audit request, we understand county officials intend to propose a new MOU for the Friends, again without engaging concerned groups and individuals. All agreed that a willingness to hold honest discussions would go a long way.
More specific to Hunters Mill, the Advocates and Friends discussed the proposal for a new library in Reston. The Supervisor noted this initiative is still in the very early stages but she stressed the importance of community input into the process. The Advocates agreed, but took this further be noting it is vital to have knowledgeable members of community become members of the task force or committee formed to advise on the new library. Specially, members of the staff, the Friends and the Advocates can and should be part of the process.
The Advocates thanked Supervisor Hudgins and Chief of Staff Catherine Hanes for their continuing interest in and support of the Library.
Ambassador Dennis Hays, Chairman of Fairfax Library Advocates; Supervisor Cathy Hudgins; and Roxanne Hughes, Board Member, Friends of Reston Regional Library
Staffer Catherine Hanes and Branch Manager Daria Parnes
Dennis Hays and Supervisor Hudgins