Birmingham Library Board Discusses Personnel Issues in Closed Session

Floyd Council, executive director, Birmingham Public Library

The Birmingham Public Library board of trustees spent an hour of its regular Tuesday afternoon meeting in an executive session called to discuss what the board’s attorney called “complaints and possible litigation involving an employee under the supervision of the library board.”

After the executive session, the board announced a meeting of the Personnel Committee would be held Thursday morning.

The executive session and committee meeting follow pointed public criticism of the library’s new executive director, Floyd Council, by some library employees. The criticisms were made in posts in the comments section of a March 22 Iron City Ink article about Council. The comments have since been removed by the site’s publisher.

In addition, an online survey was sent to the Birmingham Public Library’s 285 employees last week, asking about staff morale and seeking feedback from employees. Board President James Sullivan said a survey already had been planned as part of the board’s strategic plan. However, concerns about complaints helped prompt last week’s survey.

“We’ve seen the comments, and we are taking everyone’s concerns seriously,” Sullivan said last week. “It’s our responsibility to answer any and all concerns.”

The review and internal sharing of the results of the employee surveys will be guided by the board’s Long-Range Planning Committee, which is chaired by board member Kimberly Richardson, Sullivan said Tuesday evening. The board’s strategic plan outlines the survey review and reporting process, he said.

The Personnel Committee, chaired by board member Scott Vowell, is set to meet at 9 a.m., Thursday at the library, first floor.