Sides Tussle in St. Simons Library Battle

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson

BRUNSWICK It would be embarrassing if the wrong people found out what's going on between the Brunswick-Glynn County Library and a group that used to raise funds for the St. Simons Island Library.

Are you tired of this yet? I am, and I'm getting paid to watch.

The overarching county library and the St. Simons Island Library League are at odds because the volunteer group was not complying with some tax regulations in handling the money it raised and in the way it conducted a movie program at the island branch. That's why, in January, the library board of trustees ended its relationship with the library league and demanded $35,000 in assets.

The league asserts that it's all about control, that library director Linda Kean wants to spend the money the league collects for salaries and not for books and programs as the league had insisted.

This much is not in dispute: The Library League members have worked thousands of unpaid hours to collect and resell used books to raise money for the island library. They're mostly retired people who are very intelligent and educated who don't like being called crooks.

It's true that some rules were broken, but some rules are stupid.

Take the one that says the library can show movies under its licensing agreement but can't advertise the titles. They sort of let you know what it's about. It's usually something like, "A coming of age tale about a adolescent boy/girl and his/her relationship with his/her dog/mother/father or weird uncle who lives in a rusted-out van. …