This letter in support of Caitlin Browne as Library Director was written collaboratively and signed by over 30 staff members of the Watertown Free Public Library, across all departments of the library and including all department heads. It was read by library staff members at the Board of Library Trustees meeting on April 19, 2022.
To our Board of Library Trustees:
As staff members of the Watertown Free Public Library, we would like to express our thanks for this opportunity to make our voices heard. We understand that the public forum is an avenue for commenting on “library business,” which we feel very much includes this director selection process.
We appreciate the work of the screening committee that has narrowed the candidates to the current field. Leanne, we also recognize and appreciate your communication from Friday. We come to you as a staff stressed and battered by two years of a pandemic, by turnover and staffing shortages, and as a staff trying to be hopeful for the change that your decision brings. We have a range of tenures and experiences at WFPL, but we are looking forward to coming together as a library and continuing our good work in the future.
One of the frequent communications sent to staff is the biweekly report compiled by our Interim Director Caitlin Browne. This report contains general updates about library departments and projects. It always ends, however, with a success story: a report on a positive interaction that exemplified the service that we strive to provide. Today, we would like to share our own success story with you.
Throughout her library career at WFPL, Caitlin has shown her dedication not only to this library, but also to the principles that have made us successful in serving our community. Her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to innovative services like Hatch, which she created, are exactly what our community needs. We have seen her integrity, empathy, and management skills firsthand.
In the two months that Caitlin has been serving as Interim Library Director, we have already felt
the positive change that we so desperately craved, and as you can see from the signatures on this letter, these feelings are not limited to one department or cohort of staff. Caitlin has been serving as both Director and Assistant Director while managing a short-staffed team and has already put us on a path that has begun the process of healing and bringing staff together.
Imagine how effective she will be when she is not spread so thin.
We ask that you honor her passion, her work, and her vision by allowing her to continue guiding us on this path as our next Library Director.
(Submitted by Megan Ramette, Watertown Library staff member)