There is an old-fashioned turf war going on at the Franklin Public Library, which was founded in 1790 with a gift of three books by the town’s namesake, Benjamin Franklin.
And at the root of the infighting, to the surprise of few, are power and money.
On one side is the library’s board of directors, whose members — appointed by the town administrator — say they have the sole responsibility for setting library policy. On the other is the Friends of the Franklin Library, a volunteer group of supporters who want a say in how the $6,000 to $7,000 they raise at book fairs each fall and spring is spent.
The tug of war was being waged behind the scenes for months, but spilled into the open when the directors abruptly canceled the Friends’ fall book sale. In its place, the library is selling old books through an ongoing process that officials say is “extremely successful,” and there are plans to hold monthly, themed sales at the library.
“It’s the library’s books being sold, it’s our money,” Cynthia Dobrzynski, chairwoman of the board of directors, said about the proceeds from the Friends’ annual sales. “There is no reason for that money not to be turned over directly to us.”
The president of the Friends of the Franklin Library, Maria Lucier, sees things a little differently.
“I agree that money is at the root of this, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for a request for FoFL funds that describes how the money is planned to be spent.” she wrote in an e-mail to the Globe.
Lucier said all her group wants is specific requests for funds, such as a certain amount for museum passes, videos, books, or programs.Read the full article in the Sunday Boston Globe here
The recent letter to the membership of the FoFL
The Library has announced a book sale at the Library for Saturday October 26th.