North Logan Library cuts staff, denounced by Cache Valley Library Association

FILE PHOTO

NORTH LOGAN – Just before hiring the replacement of former library director Adam Winger, the North Logan Library Board cut two members of its staff, a decision denounced by the Cache Valley Library Association.

Winger resigned from his position in September and was later accused with spending $90,000 of city funds on personal use.

The vacancy led to a search by the North Logan Library Board to find a replacement. Damon Cann, a member of the North Logan City Council who is currently serving as mayor pro tem, told KVNU’s “For the People” he wasn’t a part of the search for the new director, but said the library found good candidates for the position. The one they felt was best, though, wasn’t available immediately.

“We made him a job offer but he said he wasn’t going to be in a position to be able to come and take it for a couple of months,” he said. “The Library Board went back and thought about it and said, ‘You know what, James Brisch is the right decision for us.’”

That meant Brisch didn’t start in his new position until June, but on May 25 the Library Board made another staff decision – to cut two employees. Assistant Director Paul Daybell and Clerk Stephanie Western were both let go from the North Logan Library staff.

The Cache Valley Library Association condemned the firings in a letter posted online, calling it a “shameful act towards two experienced, educated, and well-respected professionals.”

“Paul and Stephanie have master’s degrees in library science and have demonstrated a further commitment to their vocation by participating in library organizations and conferences locally and further afield,” the letter stated. “Paul served capably as the president of our association in 2017. But most importantly, Paul (since 2014) and Stephanie (2007-08 and since 2013) have given years of faithful service to the citizens of North Logan by improving their library’s collections and programs.”

Cann said the decision to let the two staff members go was made by the North Logan Library Board and was not a decision made by the new library director.

Cann said he doesn’t like to see any city employee lose their job, but believes the Library Board made the best decision they could due to the circumstances.

“There are significant budget issues the library was facing,” he said. “The library had not made its fund balance in the auditor’s report for the last three years running.”

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1 Comment

  • David Benson June 9, 2018 at 3:23 pm Reply

    There is more to this story! I understand that the new director, James Brisch, initially was offered the top range of the advertised salary, but rejected the position at that salary. The Board then increased their offer to be essentially equal to Adam Wingers ending salary, after five or so years of experience as the head librarian/director, of $67,000. Now, the Board has the authority to hire the librarian, and apparently was within the NLC Council’s budgetary constraints. However, they just fired two highly qualified staff members for supposed financial reasons. If that is true, then how can the Board and the Council justify paying $10-15k more for a brand new librarian? Why did they not explain to James that they could not afford such an elevated salary for him, and offer the position to another candidate with similar experience and qualifications? If the Library has been out of state compliance for three years, why did we not eliminate these positions back in 2015? It certainly appears that there is more to this story than saving money.

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