Library Employees Claim Hostile Working Enviroment 03 Jan 18

In an open letter to the public yesterday; three former employees at the Thief River Falls Public Library accuse administration with the Northwest Regional Library System of creating a hostile and impossible work environment; resulting in the abrupt resignation of 3 employees last month, including Library Manager; Emily Savageau.

The letter confirms what we first reported last week, that resignations are the result of long-standing tension between library workers and Administration with the Northwest Regional Library System.
Late last week members of the Thief River Falls Library Board met with City Attorney Delray Sparby, and were told the local board is advisory only, with little authority when it comes to resolving employee issues.

That is in spite of the fact the city owns and cleans the building, provides snow removal and contributes significant tax dollars to operations, with a publicly appointed board.

City Alderman Gerald Brown told our News Room both the Regional and Local Boards were aware of tensions; but says the board was “surprised by the turmoil” even though “mediation” was provided through employee insurance policies, some 8 to 10 months ago.

Brown says Thief River Falls Library Employees are non-union; “hired at will” by the Northwest Regional Library System and says he is “concerned” about the Library situation; and plans to talk with Pennington County Commissioner Bruce Lawrence – the second public appointee to the Regional Board; about potential plans to meet with Kristi Hanson, the Director of the Northwest Regional Library System.