Library board defends librarian against bullies

On behalf of the Rimbey Municipal Library Board of Directors, I am submitting this letter (regardless of the vote outcome) to highlight

Editor:

On behalf of the Rimbey Municipal Library Board of Directors, I am submitting this letter (regardless of the vote outcome) to highlight our concern regarding bullying within our community.

During the past few weeks, it has been obvious that our library manager, Jean Keetch, has been blamed for decisions made concerning the proposed library expansion. I would like to stress that Mrs. Keetch is an employee of the board of directors. It is the board of directors that discusses and votes on all major decisions and review financial and statistical information during our monthly meetings.

Contrary to the beliefs of some people, the library manager does not run the board, nor does she hold decision-making powers over the town council. She is someone who is dedicated to her profession and genuinely has the community’s best interests at heart. The board of directors is thankful for such an exemplary employee and stand behind her 100 per cent in her role as library manager.

The board of directors is particularly upset at the extremely offensive behaviour directed towards Mrs. Keetch in recent weeks. This includes:

being mocked or belittled during public meetings;

having her integrity and work ethics questioned by those who obviously do not know her well;

being shunned by individuals;

having extremely slanderous comments and inaccurate accounts of how she runs the library put into printed and online material.

Our board will not tolerate this type of behaviour toward any of our employees. The bullying of any individual is inexcusable. When the perpetrators are adults, how on earth can we expect our younger generations to exhibit tolerance and understanding for each other when their elders fail to do so?

Through all of this, Mrs. Keetch goes to work every day applying for grants and funding, co-ordinating programs for adults and children, representing our library at various conferences and meetings, and continuing to fight to make programs/events/library resources free or as cheap as possible for everyone. She does this for each individual in the Town of Rimbey/Ponoka County — whether he/she is an avid library user or not — because she believes in the importance of libraries and wants to help make Rimbey a town we can all be proud of.

Rowena Aitken, chair

Rimbey Municipal Library Board of Directors