Matt Leslie

Just what is happening at the Fullerton Public Library’s Hunt Branch? The Library’s Board of Trustees voted on March 28th to close the Hunt because they were reportedly told that the site was unsafe for library staff.

Hunt-FacadeBut the next day the website Fullerton Stories published an account of the closing of the Hunt Library in which Fullerton City Manager Joe Felz says that the Hunt would be open next week.

‘“Felz, who was at the meeting, today said that the branch will be open on Tuesday and Thursday next week, its regular schedule.”’

Trustees Ryan Cantor and Vince Buck, who both voted for the closure, were surprised to read that the Hunt Branch would be open Tuesday and Thursday. “It was presented to us as an emergency situation,” wrote Dr. Buck, who added that “The current closure is open-ended until the external situation is resolved. A budget closure will be for a longer, presumably fixed period of time, but I do not expect that Hunt will be opened before the next budget goes into effect. If the Board votes to close the facility for a longer period of time we will discuss how library services might be provided to that area.”

He also made a distinction between the emergency vote to close the Hunt Branch and the recommendations concerning the Hunt in a recent report submitted by the Ad Hoc Committee formed Study Library Services, Assets, and Properties.

“This has nothing to do with the ad hoc committee and next year’s budget. We did not vote on that.” The report had been on the agenda for the March 28th meeting, but the emergency item concerning the Hunt Branch reportedly preempted that continuing discussion.

In the Fullerton Stories article, Joe Felz also said that “We have staff in different facilities throughout the city. We do not put them in unsafe situations. We would never endanger staff, but that doesn’t mean they don’t face difficult situations.”

Lacking any announcement from the City of Fullerton or the Library, we are left to wonder just what sort of situation was “difficult” enough to justify an emergency vote by the Trustees to close a branch of the city’s library, but is evidently not serious enough to prevent that facility from keeping its regularly scheduled open hours this week. What has changed? And what circumstances led to this emergency item being placed on the Board of Trustees agenda in the first place?