Urbana library board meets tonight
URBANA — As a controversial "weeding" procedure continues to upset patrons of the Urbana Free Library, board members will meet Wednesday night in a special meeting with only two items listed on the agenda: public comment and a closed session to discuss library personnel.
The special meeting at 7 p.m. in the Lewis Auditorium of the Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green St., comes days after a controversial "weeding" of books was halted in the library's adult nonfiction section.
Thousands of books were considered for removal — and many were actually removed and shipped away — from the stacks in what the library director has called the result of miscommunication. Director Debra Lissak said the "weeding" of books was never intended to be so extensive, and she issued an apology on the library's website last week.
Some of those books taken from art, gardening, pets and cooking will be returned to the stacks. Remaining items will go to the Friends of the Library for its book sales, according to Lissak's online apology.
Library patrons during Monday night's city council meeting took shots at Lissak, calling into question her management style and some asking for her resignation.
They also called for more oversight and transparency at the library. They will have an opportunity to make those comments directly to the library's board of trustees tonight.
Lissak did not take the opportunity on Tuesday to respond to comments made against her during Monday night's city council meeting. She said that, between the online apology and the efforts she has made to correct the situation during the past week, she feels it is now prudent for her to stand back and allow library board members to decide how to move forward.