With several elected officials leaving their posts mid-term in recent months, there are alotta opportunities for new leadership and representation in Niles. First we learned of Niles-Maine District Library Board Vice President Olivia Hanusiak’s departure, then Village of Niles Board Trustee Denise McCreery’s, and now 15th District State Representative John D’Amico’s. We at Niles Coalition hope to see new candidates coming forward who represent our diverse community. Please reach out and introduce yourself!
Our local #SaveNilesLibrary campaign also has wide support including organizations across the country. Most recently the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and their American Libraries publication shined a spotlight on the situation with the hostile anti-library faction of Niles-Maine District Library’s board. Unfortunately libraries in other communities are also under attack.
In Niles we organized and came together in several popular efforts this summer to #SaveNilesLibrary, but Carolyn Drblik, Joe Makula, and Suzanne Schoenfeldt are abusing their power to put the library and its services at grave risk again. Since the the summer, they have been:
- Continuing to refuse to fill staff vacancies, even after the recommendation of the director they appointed
- Deadlocking the board after their accomplice Olivia Hanusiak resigned
- Risking a financial crisis that could impact the library for decades by pushing back the levy vote (find out more with our Levy FAQ)
- Stalling the appointment of a new trustee to the vacant board position (even though a swift process is required by law), ensuring their power to block all and any board work, including the library’s revenue source: the levy
- Abusing their power by limiting speech during public comments in violation of the Open Meetings Act
While we have had successes in slowing down their anti-library agenda, it does not mean the library is safe. Time is running out with the library on the edge of a financial cliff. It is time to call out to our elected officials, including our State Librarian Jesse White. Please take a minute to join our new urgent letter-writing action: Help Save Niles-Maine District Library!
Please also plan to attend the November 17th 6:30 Niles-Maine District Library board meeting and make a public comment in support of the library. This is your opportunity to tell the board how important it is to you that we properly fund the library.