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updated: 2/13/2011 9:39 AM

Schaumburg library already uses volunteers

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The front page of the Feb. 5 Daily Herald contains a proposal by Mr. Hetzer to replace part-time Schaumburg Library staff with volunteers.

Hetzer says surrounding taxing bodies including the village of Schaumburg rely heavily on volunteers while the library uses none.

As a former trustee, Mr. Hetzer should know we supplement our trained staff with volunteers as tutors, readers to young children, and teachers in our English as a Second Language program.

The village of Schaumburg uses volunteers as committee members to advise trustees on policy, not as a substitute for employees.

Hetzer claims that replacing part-time trained staff with volunteers would save the library $1.5 million to $1.75 million in salaries and benefits. Hetzer knows our total personnel budget including benefits is $6 million. To effect these savings we would need to replace at least a quarter -- 1 out of every 4 -- of our trained staff with volunteers.

Volunteers would need extensive training with no assurance that the added costs associated with their training and supervision would result in any cost savings. And what does the staff do when the volunteer fails to show up?

Hetzer states the library is not there to provide employment; it's there to provide service to the taxpayers.

Does Mr. Hetzer understand that quality service does not happen without extensive training and dedication? This service that library patrons expect can only be delivered by a well-trained and professional staff.

When Mr. Hetzer was a trustee, instead of proposals to reduce staff he kept proposing we hire a director of finance who would report to the board, not the library director.

Since there is already a CPA on staff, and the library has a yearly public audit, the rest of the trustees would not agree to add a $100,000-a-year unneeded position.

Ask any trustee who served at the same time as Hetzer about some of the documented evidence of his failure to perform in the best interests of the library.

The real question is why Mr. Hetzer wishes so badly to be a trustee, when he performed so badly when he was a trustee.

Robert Frankel, trustee

Schaumburg Township District Library board