By Michael Howell
Last week the Bitterroot Star published a story about the resignation of North Valley Public Library Director Desiree Dramstad. In that story, Library Board Chair Joanne Charbonneau stated that she had simply gotten an e-mail from the director saying she had “locked her office, left the keys and was gone.” Both Charbonneau and board member David Anderson, who also was aware of the e-mail, said that they did not know why the director left so abruptly.
As a result of that story former Library Director Dramstad contacted the newspaper stating that she had sent a letter of resignation via e-mail to every member of the Library Board on June 28, which she said “outlined a number of clear and compelling reasons why I am no longer able to work for the library.”
Asked about that resignation a second time, Anderson said there was an e-mail from the director but that he deferred to the Chairman of the Board in matters of talking to the public.
Charbonneau also admitted that she had received an e-mail but said that she was not sure it was a letter of resignation exactly. She said that it was a short e-mail and referred to some feelings the director had about her work, but did not give a specific reason. Both she and Anderson refused a request for a copy of the e-mail. Charbonneau said that it might be something that goes in a personnel file. She said she would bring it up with the Board at their next meeting on Monday.
When asked by the newspaper, Dramstad was willing to share a copy of that e-mail.
“This message is to notify the board that I am resigning from my position as Director of the North Valley Public Library, effective immediately.
“At the June 19 board meeting, Ed said that the library board is the most negative thing about living in Stevensville. His words have been coming back to me over and over again since then. After a few days, I realized why: because I agree with him completely.
“Over the last few months, my relationship with the board has been irreparably damaged through hostility, threats and belittlement. I am not able to work in a productive or healthy manner with people who have so little regard for me as a professional librarian. I’m also uncomfortable with the board’s cavalier attitude toward the standards and laws that govern public agencies.
“I have some very serious concerns about the chair-elect’s motivations and competencies. I sense that fundamental differences in opinion with her about NVPL’s future will lead to even more difficult, unsatisfactory working conditions. I wish you the best of luck in bringing on a Director who can fulfill the library’s and the chair-elect’s unique needs.
“In the board’s mailbox is an envelope containing five keys (front door, back door, Community Room, Director’s office, file cabinet), my name tag, my credit card and a list of personal items that I removed from the library this morning.”