Plan for library position falls short

HUDSON – Selectmen deadlocked Tuesday night on whether to support a revised warrant article that would convert a part-time library position into a full-time one.

Selectmen Ann Seabury and Shawn Jasper voted in favor of the proposal, while Ken Massey and Terry Stewart opposed it. Selectman William Cole was not at the meeting.

As a result of the deadlock, a motion to send the warrant article to the ballot failed. The library trustees could try to get a petitioned warrant article on the ballot, a move that would require the signatures of 25 registered voters.

Currently, the 30-hour a week adult services/young adult librarian position pays $23,010 a year without any benefits. The lack of medical insurance and other benefits has hurt efforts to attract candidates, according to library trustees.

Previously, the trustees had submitted a warrant article combining two part-time positions into one.

This time, the trustees proposed combining three part-time positions and asking voters for $13,844 for wages and benefits.

The revised proposal is $11,867 less than the original.

“This does not take us to a zero sum,” Massey said. “It will cost $13,000.”

Seabury spoke in favor of the warrant article, noting that the library was short staffed.

“They are really in need of staff,” she said. “I think we need to support the library.”

The adult service/young adult librarian’s responsibilities include overseeing adult programs such as book group, programs for young adults, the bookmobile and acquiring new books and other materials. The library is seeking someone with experience working in a library with a master’s degree or who is working toward one.

The position has been vacant since June.

One of the part-time positions that would be merged under the warrant article is a page’s position that is currently filled, library trustee Arlene Creeden said.

There is high turnover in pages, however, and when a page left the position would not be refilled, she said.