The city has been locked in a contract dispute with library workers, who voted three years ago to join the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Tom Werley, the children's librarian and union president, said this week that AFSCME is preparing a response to the layoffs but declined to comment further.
After the South Portland Library [ME] closed on Saturday, March 14, and staff went home, the locked teen resource room was emptied of books. When the library re-opened the following Monday, employees discovered the books for teens had been moved upstairs to the adult library.
They have yet to find out who moved the books and why the transfer was done in secrecy.
The mysterious after-hours transfer of the teen books followed the abrupt closing of the popular Young Adult Room and the layoffs of library clerk Monica Dubay and Reta Nappi, the librarian who managed the teen room. Although the two women had a total of 40 years working for the city, the library's directors have yet to meet with staff to explain the cutbacks or how operations should proceed.