continued However, during that time, in order to prevent any misunderstandings and, as Spadafore said, to protect both boards, the Friends group is unable to operate.
“Unfortunately for us, they said, ‘You stop everything you’re doing until we get the document in place. Then, once we get that in place, you can start operations again,” Sprague said.
The Friends group is a nonprofit organization staffed by volunteers dedicated to supporting the library. Sprague said it has a number of duties, ranging from running the used book sale to funding the Arts Al!ve series to replacing appliances in the library’s staff room.
“There’s a lot of little things, but it all adds up,” she said.
Spadafore said the library runs as well as it does largely due to the activities of the Friends.
“We appreciate everything that the Friends have done for the library,” he said. “We have the best library in New York state, and that is in a large part due to the whole community working together to make it what it is.”
Spadafore said he was hopeful that an MOU would be signed by the end of the month, but Sprague wasn’t as optimistic.
“I wouldn’t expect to see something before the beginning of next year,” she said. “Things get held up. Every time we do something, it has to go before both boards, and that creates a delay. The Friends board only meets once a month, and the library board only meets once a month, and it takes time.”
But Sprague again emphasized that the delay did not indicate that there was any ill will between the two entities.
“If somebody is perceiving that there’s friction, I suppose it might be perceived that way because we’re not in there working,” she said. “It’s just a little blip. We’re working on it. We’re working together. We’re meeting and talking about it.”
Spadafore said this action was necessary in order to continue to improve the library.
“Both the board of the trustees and the leadership of the Friends love the library,” he said, “and we are working together to support it in the best possible way.”