Bellwood Library Board Responds In Wake of Director’s Resignation

Saturday, March 31, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

The Bellwood Public Library Board of Directors released a statement on March 31 about library Executive Director Jacqueline Spratt’s decision to resign.

Spratt announced her resignation on March 28 and attributed part of her decision to ongoing conflicts with some board members, including a recent board evaluation that Spratt felt was arbitrary and unfair.

“I’ve been fighting with the board almost since I’ve been the director and I just don’t want to fight anymore,” Spratt said at the time. “I just don’t want to fight anymore and I think that some people have hidden agendas that I’m not willing to go with.”

One member of the library board, Deborah Giles, has expressed support for Spratt and also disapproved of how the board evaluation was conducted. During a phone interview on March 28, Giles said that board President Dorothy Clark-Smith, Connie Riales and Mary Clements had “railroaded” Spratt.

In the March 31 statement, however, the board stated that it is “disappointed that Ms. Spratt on her own volition decided to resign” and that the decision was made “in spite of this Board’s continued effort to support her growth and success as director in order to ensure that the highest quality of library services is provided to the community.”

The board “is also very disheartened by Ms. Spratt’s false allegations directed to this Board,” the statement continued. The board “is grateful” to Spratt’s service and “wishes her all the best in her future endeavors.”

On March 28, Spratt said that the board evaluation that was conducted on her performance — the first such assessment in the roughly four years she has been executive director, according to board member Deborah Giles, a supporter of Spratt’s — was arbitrary and did not take into account her accomplishments while executive director.

“For example, they said I need to work on doing things in a timely manner and they couldn’t even show me one thing I had not done in a timely manner,” Spratt said. “They were making statements that they couldn’t prove.”

On March 31, Clark-Smith pointed out that, because board members are prohibited by policy from discussing personnel issues, the board could not directly address Spratt’s claims.

Spratt, who said that she’s been an employee at the library for roughly 25 years, pointed out that her resignation will go into effect on April 6.

Read the full library board statement below:

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