Concerns Raised About Meridian Public Library

Two librarians resigned last week. Critics say the problems are deeply rooted and come at the expense of the public.

Sarah Mutziger and Heather Harrison are both former employees. Mutziger, who worked in the children's department, resigned four years ago. Harrison resigned last week.

The main reason they say they resigned was, basically, a lack of leadership.

"The problem is how restricted we were," said Mutziger.

Prior to approaching the library's board of trustees with her concerns, Mutziger says she was contacted by more than a half dozen other former library employees who felt the same.

"And what happened was people that I didn't even know, who are also former employees, started sending me e-mails and letters and testimonials about their experiences," Mutziger said.

Bottom line, Mutziger, Harrison and the people who wrote these letters all claim that there is a lack of transparency.

"We, the taxpayers, pay close to, over $900,000 a year to support the library and everything about the library should be transparent," said Mutziger. "The budget should be transparent. The notes from the monthly business meeting should be available with the click of a button from a website."

Newscenter 11 spoke with the director of the library, Steve McCartney. Although he said right now he cannot speak on camera about the issue, McCartney did say that he is working with the library's Board of Trustees to address the concerns that have been raised.

In an interview by phone, board of trustees chair, Bobbie Gibson, said the board is taking care of the concerns that it can and working to address the others.

Meanwhile, Mutziger and Harrison are making a plea to the public.

"We would like the community to really take charge of these concerns because it's their library," said Harrison.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Maxie on Dec 1, 2010 at 05:15 AM
    Glad to see one person still cares.
  • by Olivia Location: Southaven on Nov 30, 2010 at 04:47 PM
    I support these two women who have stepped up to try to improve the library. I grew up using Meridian’s library and would love to see it up to the standards of other libraries in the area. I have lived in Hattiesburg, Clinton, Southaven, Memphis and Birmingham, AL. All these places have great libraries with updated seating, computers that you can check e-mail and print, meeting rooms, book clubs, shelves of new books and many activities for children of different ages. Why has Meridian's library remained stagnant? Who is holding Meridian's library back from progress? I urge WTOK and the Meridian Star to continue asking questions. I personally want some answers.
  • by Beverly Location: Meridian on Nov 24, 2010 at 04:41 AM
    I agree with Yolanda. Where is the follow-up report? Seems like a good issue for the newspaper to investigate.
  • by Yolanda Location: Meridian on Nov 23, 2010 at 03:33 PM
    There doesn't seem to be enough concern about this issue. No one care about the little people. If someone brought up an issue, why interview the people in question? ofcourse they are going to make it seem like everything is just "peachy". Get some private interviews with those people on the floor and see what is really going on. I was in the library Monday and today. The director was standing over the shoulder of the person at the circulation desk looking grim. It made me uncomfortable and I don't work there! No one should have to work like that. We should get this fixed soon. We also need to update this place. It is stuck in the 70's. We need more activities and maybe work together with the MPSD to get students more involved. We do have internet and iphones, but nothing can replace a good book. I would like to attend a board meeting, but 7:30am? A LOT OF TAX PAYERS ARE AT WORK AT THIS TIME. (I hope that Julie person has mercy on my typing. These are posts not essays.)
  • by Kimberly Location: meridian on Nov 22, 2010 at 12:29 PM
    The library is a wonderful place for learning and sharing ideas. Our library in some ways has that due to the employees but it could be so much more. I would like to see inventory taken and audited. The Friend of the Library active and children's area fill with art. Most of all computer classes or at the least all computers accessible to printers and emails. We had a very good children's librarian and now she has gone. For those of you who do not have children it was a great lose. I am very disturbed by some of the comments. Those two people are speaking truth and I thank them for coming forward. I just sorry it did not come earlier.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 21, 2010 at 01:47 PM
    Julie .. the problem is the buck stop at the director(s) like any other type of business you answer for all those under you as i said before shut it down until it is handled right .. if you cant get rid of it..
  • by Julie Location: Meridian on Nov 20, 2010 at 04:44 PM
    MEIDIAN: How would you know how a person with a masters degree should act or talk---since you can't even spell Meridian, and don't know how to punctuate. The key is the knowledge---which you evidently don't have.
  • by Maxie Location: meridian on Nov 20, 2010 at 07:17 AM
    Meidian, I resigned almost ten years ago and I don't think I was considered very young or immature. I had served 20 years in the Navy including time in Vietnam being shot at, but I could not put up with being treated the way the staff was treated in 2000. We were done wrong and all because we asked a question. The Board and my supervisor Mr. Hitt were no help. So I resigned giving up a great job 23k a year, great health insurance, and great retirement and took a job making 5k per year with no benifits. I have never regreted the decision. I felt bad for the other employees who had to stay. I support the efforts of Sara and Heather.
  • by beverly Location: meridian on Nov 20, 2010 at 05:52 AM
    All three immature? As I recall one of them already had several years of library experience. She probably knows how a good library is run and wanted to make changes that would benefit the library and the community.
  • by Peabody Location: Zero on Nov 20, 2010 at 01:37 AM
    WOW. From the amount of commens I see how importent it is too us.Takimg no side I did not realize how many people cared.
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