Gurney's Inn
May 03, 2006

Mold Cleanup Closes Library

While readers have been poring over books, mold has been sporing in the basement of the East Hampton Library. Last Thursday, the facility was closed for immediate remediation of the problem.

It's one that's been left to — ahem — molder too long, according to Henricka Connor, a former member of the library board of trustees and president of Library Taxpayer Advocates, Inc. This week she expressed the hope that the remediation is not just focused on the most obvious problems and that it is successful. Closure will continue through Friday, with an anticipated reopening on Saturday.

The library is waiving late fees and has asked patrons to refrain from leaving books in the outdoor drop in the interim.

Dorren Niggles, a member of the library board, responded to Connor, stating that it took so long to begin the remediation because the board was judicious about reviewing estimates and selecting a company to do the work. She reported that the mold problem is predominantly located in the basement of the old section of the building.

In other library news, last week LTA distributed a memo to officials at the East Hampton, Springs, and Wainscott school districts expressing opposition to a recent issue discussed by the library board. Last month the board considered appointing representatives from East Hampton Village and Town to the board. The library holds no contract for service with either municipal entity. LTA argued that the citizens of the Springs and Wainscott School districts, which do have contracts of service, ought to have more say in the governing of the institution.

"Now, this library's board is choosing to ignore the people of the district that it is chartered and contracted to serve; it is choosing to bring outside governmental agencies onto its board," the memo states.

For close to a year now, members of the Library Taxpayer Advocates have promoted public election of library board members, a notion that's been resisted by the current managers.

Niggles refuted LTA's contention.

"We are more than inclusive of the entire community," she said. The board is actively recruiting a Springs resident and she represents Wainscott. Finally, like other institutions such as Guild Hall and the East Hampton Health Care Foundation, the library is selecting the village mayor and town supervisor as ex oficio members.

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