Somerset County Library Commission: Bring Back Larry!
  • Petitioned Sarah

This petition was delivered to:

Sarah

Somerset County Library Commission: Bring Back Larry!

    1. Sarah F
    2. Petition by

      Sarah F

      Stockton, NJ

  1.  
  2.   
June 2012

Victory

After over 17,000 people signed Sarah Fisher's petition to the Somerset Country Library Commission, the commission decided to bring Head of Circulation Larry Sapienza back to work at the Warren Township Library in New Jersey. Sarah, Larry's former co-worker, delivered the thousands of signatures on her petition to the Commission meeting on June 6th where the Commission acknowledged that Larry's termination was "more severe than necessary" and agreed that he should return to work effective August 1.

Sarah Fisher said, "I am eternally grateful to the petition signers and supporters in helping to get Larry back his job. You have all been so supportive in your well-wishes and caring thoughts and we definitely could not have done this without you! Thank you for sticking by us and helping us to change this injustice!"
 
Larry Sapienza said, "Sincere and humble thanks to everyone that signed the petition. I gained insight into the situation and myself from contributors thousands of miles away! Truly an amazing forum and strong proof that the world is still inhabited in large part by thoughtful, caring, and intelligent people! Love and Thanks!"

 

This petition is being re-opened in an attempt to stop the Somerset County Library Commission from manipulating and lying to their employees and the taxpayers. 

On June 6, we declared a victory for Larry. We believed he was being reinstated to his position as Head of Circulation at the Warren branch of the Somerset County Library Commission. 

Larry was not contacted until July 9th when he was told that not only was he NOT returning to the Warren branch but that they created a special position just for him!

 

Sounds great right? Well, Larry was told he would now be the "System Volunteer Coordinator". Wait, wasn't he FIRED for mismanaging the volunteers? Now you are putting him in charge of recruiting and training them? Furthermore, he was put in a branch 40 minutes away from Warren. 

Larry did not immediately take the job but was given the choice, take it or your are out of a job. So he did.. 

Larry still has no clear idea as to what he is to be doing because they haven't yet given him a job description! For the meantime, he is setting up chairs, helping other people do their jobs....not working with the public he loved so much.

Larry was also told by system director Brian Auger, through an email, that his actions were "unacceptable and inexcusable". Those actions, if you remember, were following his directors orders, which were handed down by Brian's right hand man, Keith McCoy.

On top of that, the Somerset County Library System and its administation is being investigated for alcohol violations.....more on that later!

 

 

Larry Sapienza served as Circulation Director at the Warren Township Library in New Jersey (a branch of the Somerset County Library system) for more than 20 years. Larry has worked hard for our community and is beloved by library patrons and volunteers alike.

But a few weeks ago, Larry became the scapegoat for a bad decision by the library's leaders.

Larry was abruptly fired last month after carrying out orders from his boss, Warren Library’s Director Elaine Whiting, that banned volunteers from certain duties in the libraries.

The decision to take tasks (like working in the back room, sorting books) away from volunteers was handed down to Ms. Whiting from W. Keith McCoy, the Assistant Director of the Somerset County Library. While Larry expressed concern about the decision, he was instructed to follow through with it and Ms. Whiting promptly left town for vacation.

Volunteers were understandably upset with the sudden change in their duties, and a public backlash followed. With Ms. Whiting out of town, Larry stood in the crossfire. But when she returned, Ms. Whiting claimed she was not aware of the new policy and blamed it on Larry.

Armed with proof (e.g. email exchanges between Elaine and Larry) that the administration made the decision, Larry met with Library Director Brian Auger who told him things would work out and that Larry should meet with him Tuesday, April 10. Instead of working it out, he told Larry he was terminated.

We need to show the county that we do not just fire people who are standing up for their morals. Larry is being made a scapegoat by the leadership who made this decision and his firing is unjust. Please join me in calling on the Somerset County Library Commission to re-hire Larry.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Larry is not returning

      Sarah F
      by Sarah F
      Petition Organizer

      Larry was told that he will NOT be returning to his position and that a new position was created for him...all the way on the other side of the county. He will now be in charge of ALL volunteers. Funny right, because he was FIRED for his "poor judgement" of the volunteers at Warren. The corruption continues! Go to the Warren Library on Wednesday, August 1 as Brian Auger is supposed to be there to answer (tell everyone he can't talk about it) questions about why Larry isn't returning. Don't be surprised when he doesn't show up.

      Also, I have sent NUMEROUS updates but Change.org hasn't been sending them through. Don't know why but hopefully you get this.

      We are continuing the fundraiser as well! This will not end!

    2. Fundraiser for Larry!

      Sarah F
      by Sarah F
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all for your generous donations. We will keep this open until the end of July. I have made it now so you do not have to join Paypal to donate. All funds go into an account set up for Larry. We are hoping that we can save his home, now that we saved his job! Thanks so much!

      Sarah

      http://fnd.us/c/bJzd3

    3. Fundraiser for Larry

      Sarah F
      by Sarah F
      Petition Organizer

      Many have expressed helping out Larry financially. If you are interested, here is the link. Thank you all for everything.

    4. Change in venue....AGAIN

      Sarah F
      by Sarah F
      Petition Organizer

      For the THIRD TIME, the meeting for Larry's appeal has been moved. Now it will be at 7:30 pm, on Wednesday, June 6, 2012
      at the Warren Township Municipal Complex, Susie B. Boyce Meeting Room, (Municipal Court)
      44 Mountain Boulevard, Warren, New Jersey.

      The first two changes were even reported by the local paper. See below.

      If anyone has letters they want given to the commission, please email them to me today.

      Thanks for the support! See you at the Municipal Complex!

      Sarah

    5. Meeting location

      Sarah F
      by Sarah F
      Petition Organizer

       The Somerset County Library Commission Meeting

      Wednesday June 6, 2012  at 7:30 pm
      At:     Central School
               109 Mount Bethel Road
                Warren, NJ 07059                               (being held in their All Purpose Room )
      You can access parking to the Central School directly off of Mt. Bethel Road or also off of Mt. Horeb Road
          The Central School is located right by the intersection of Mt. Bethel Road and Mt. Horeb Road, just north of  DiNardo’s Shell gas station  ,people will be allowed to park in the staff parking lot since it is after hours.

    6. Recording 3

      Sarah F
      by Sarah F
      Petition Organizer

      Tuesday May 22, 2012 – Mr. Auger states, in front of
      Warren Library Advisory Board members:
         In response to Silvia Gerken’s remark
      that, “the only way to right this wrong situation was to
      reinstate Larry.”
      Mr. Auger responds:
      "that is never going to happen and if you knew what I knew
      you would agree with
      me.”
      “ This was not a sudden decision – it has been in the
      works for a year and a half.”

    7. Recording 2

      Sarah F
      by Sarah F
      Petition Organizer

        On or around  May1 or 2
      2012,  Mr. Auger states, in phone conversation to
      Warren Library  Advisory Board President Beverly Lang:

      “I cannot not discuss Larry’s termination …but if you
      knew what I knew …you would have
      acted the same.”

    8. Recording 1

      Sarah F
      by Sarah F
      Petition Organizer

      Friday April 20, 2012 – Mr. Auger states, in front of the
      entire Warren Library staff 20+ employees: (verbatim
      transcript of audio recorded meeting)
      “unfortunately I have to retreat behind a “I can’t
      disclose”, and even worse than that, I am going to say,
      you are going to have to trust me on this, I know that
      doesn’t work, I know that’s not going to work for you,
      I’m so sorry but…the decision that we made…was made
      for reasons that are not known to you. So that if I could
      tell you the story, it would be a different story than you
      currently understand…but I can’t tell you the
      story…and I’m sorry and I know it’s a lot to say can
      you trust me, no I understand that you can’t, so I’m
      sorry…but that’s the …that’s the rock and the hard
      place that I’m between right now.”
          

    9. Update

      Sarah F
      by Sarah F
      Petition Organizer

      Larry’s lawyer has said that people should be encouraged
      to speak, and those who wish to speak should pick one of the
      three major issues at hand:
      1.    Larry’s character.
      2.    Keith McCoy’s statement’s at the
      March 27, 2012 Warren Advisory Board meeting, where he
      stated he knew of Elaine Whiting’s volunteer changes, and
      he supported it. (For those who attended this meeting)
      3.    Brian Auger’s recent public comments
      regarding Larry’s termination, implying that he was fired
      for more than the  4 reasons stated on his termination

    10. Reached 15,000 signatures
    11. Upcoming Meeting

      Sarah F
      by Sarah F
      Petition Organizer

      The upcoming library commission meeting for Larry's job is Wednesday, June 6th at 7 pm at the Warren Library, 42 Mountain Blvd, Warren, NJ, Somerset County

      The commission will hear public comments and go into private session before coming back with a decision. A copy of the petition will be handed to each of them so please share!

    12. Reached 750 signatures
    13. We have reached 80% of our initial goal!

      Sarah F
      by Sarah F
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks everyone for all your support! Please, please, please spread the word so we can get Larry's job back! Taking a look at all the NJ.com and Warren Patch articles (newspapers are unbiased right?!) you can see that Larry was treated poorly and unjustly. We cannot allow the administration to fire the biggest asset to the library system because THEY screwed up! Fight to Bring Back Larry! Share the news, share the petition, share the Facebook page!

    14. Reached 50 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Bruce Morgan PARRAMATTA, AUSTRALIA
      • about 2 years ago

      Library staff need to stand by their colleagues world-wide.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Martha Alexander PORTER, TX
      • over 2 years ago

      That's a bit like the soldiers being punished for carrying out a superior's orders! The person who gives the order is the superior... Larry should be re-instated NOW with back pay!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • kevin Gillick WEST CALDWELL, NJ
      • over 2 years ago

      Finding a job in todays jobmarket is challenging enough for young candidates

      and frequently impossible for older

      seasoned workers.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • trudy fritts WARREN, NJ
      • over 2 years ago

      Larry has always been a significant asset to the library. Always helpful, always caring, so knowlidgeable and industrious.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • william kistulinec WARREN, NJ
      • over 2 years ago

      a good representative

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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