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Library director leaving
To care for ill relatives
Drusilla Carter is shown at the Blue Ridge Library. She notified the system Friday that she is leaving, probably in mid-July. (Bulletin file photo)
Sunday, June 24, 2012
By GINNY WRAY - Bulletin Staff Writer
The chairman of the Blue Ridge Regional Library board hopes its members will meet soon to decide how to seek a successor to Drusilla Carter, the library system’s director who is resigning to care for ill relatives in Connecticut.
Chairman Paula Burnette said Carter told her Friday that she was resigning so she can care for an ill aunt and uncle who raised her after her parents died. Carter was in California for an American Library Association Conference, and she called Burnette to tender her resignation, Burnette said.
That resignation probably will be effective in mid-July, Burnette said. She added late Friday afternoon that she was trying to reach library board members to arrange a meeting to determine how to proceed.
“The library system does not have a deputy or assistant director,” Burnette said. “We need to look and see what the next step is. We were pretty much taken by surprise by this. We have to deal with the budget first. We need a person in charge. Maybe it will be a two-pronged thing” of looking for a new director while dealing with possible budget cuts.
Carter’s resignation may have been a surprise, Burnette said, but she has known that Carter’s aunt was sick for some time. Carter has visited her aunt and uncle frequently, Burnette said, and she notified her each time.
Her resignation likely had nothing to do with a recent controversy involving the library system and the Bassett Historical Center or last week’s revelation that the system is preparing for layoffs if the localities reduce their funding to it, Burnette said.
If Carter’s decision to leave had anything to do with those situations, “she would have resigned a long time ago,” Burnette added.
Carter may use some vacation time to leave before mid-July, Burnette said, but she will be on the staff when the historical center splits from the library system July 1.
The private Bassett Public Library Association, which owns the building that houses the historical center, decided not to renew its lease June 30, so the library board decided in April to give up ownership of the center. The center will stay in the building, officials have said.
The library system also donated its collections and materials in the historical center to the association “in hopes the association will continue to operate” the historical center, according to a library system release at the time.
Burnette said Friday that Carter has been working to determine ownership of some things at the center. Also, she determined if any equipment could be used in other library branches. What cannot be moved, including some computers, will remain at the historical center, Burnette said.
Carter joined the system in October 2010. Among her strengths has been helping the board revamp and refresh the system’s policy manual and review the strategic plan, and in the course of that, she determined that the lease agreement with the historical center was outdated, Burnette said. That, she added, made the separation easier.
“In the short time she’s been here, she’s done a lot of that kind of nitty-gritty, nuts and bolts work that’s been done,” Burnette added.
Carter also has a good working relationship with the board, Burnette said. She added that in the past two to three years, the board has become cohesive and its members work well together.
Burnette was not certain what the director’s job pays, but she said the job description was updated when Carter was hired.