When considering the recent antics of the Fayette County Library Board Commission in the quest for a county library director, I am reminded of Matthew 13:57: “And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown and in his own household is a prophet without honor.”
Apparently, this is also true in the case of Michelle Holly, a local applicant for the position of Library Director.
Michelle is an Oak Hill native with impressive credentials — she graduated as valedictorian of her class at Oak Hill High School, graduated Summa Cum Laude from West Liberty University, and received a masters degree in Library Science from Kent State University. After working out of the state for several years, Michelle returned to Oak Hill where she has worked at a Fayette County Library for about four and a half years.
When the position of library director was posted, Michelle, along with several out-of-state applicants, applied. It is my understanding that the Library Board paid travel expenses for two applicants who decided that Fayette County is not for them. However, and this is my concern, the board decided that Fayette County is not for Michelle; therefore, the job is to be re-posted.
So, herein lies the conundrum. What message are we sending qualified professionals who live in Fayette County, pay Fayette County taxes, support Fayette County levies, buy locally and attend church locally?
Apparently, the board members, in their wisdom, preferred a candidate with at least five years of experience. So, I would pose this question: What if a teacher had to have five years experience before he or she could be hired? And, if the same held true for all other jobs, how could we ever hire anyone to do anything?
Since the Fayette County Library Commission receives funding from the Fayette County Levy, does it not seem logical that, if no other applicant is interested, and a qualified Fayette County employee (currently working in the system) has almost five years’ experience, that applicant should be hired?? Why re-post the position? Perhaps the Board could have considered hiring Michelle on an acting basis until she fulfilled the five-year requirement (a procedure followed by most state agencies).
We repeatedly hear the lament of those who worry about our youth leaving Fayette County for employment; however, in instances like these, we tend to understand. Michelle Holly is one who decided to stay — only to find out that she is without honor in her own county!
If you have comments regarding this decision, please direct them to Phil Tissue, president, the Fayette County Library Board Commission.
David G. Perry