Magazine article American Libraries

Gwinnett Board Chair Resigns over Director Hearing

Magazine article American Libraries

Gwinnett Board Chair Resigns over Director Hearing

Article excerpt

A testy exchange between two patrons and Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library Executive Director Jo Ann Pinder on March 17 led to trustees calling a special hearing to decide whether to discipline Pinder. However, two days before the April 17 hearing took place, board Chair Dan English submitted his letter of resignation, telling the April 19 Atlanta Journal-Constitution he felt other trustees resented his support of Pinder.

The controversy centered on Pinder's interaction with Robin Shoulla and Denise Varenhorst, who had spent the afternoon of March 17 examining three years' worth of board minutes to investigate collection-management decisions. When Shoulla and Varenhorst asked for a document about the library's automated circulation system, Pinder told American Libraries, "I can't say I screamed at these customers, but I didn't talk to them in my inside voice. They felt I was rude and trying to be an obstructionist," and complained to library trustees. Pinder said she wrote notes of apology several days later, but the women said they never received them.

At the hearing, the trustees voted 3-1 to cut the hearing short and declare sufficient Pinder's face-to-face apology to Shoulla and Varenhorst during the proceedings. …

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