County delays vote on library contracts

Official did not give data on book, other media purchases
Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers
07/13/2012
When a county library official reported that he could not provide data about upcoming purchases of books and other media, elected officials read his response as evasive. Approval of contract awards to 13 vendors was delayed for a week, allowing library staff to fill in some of the blanks that were particularly bothersome to Commissioner Billy Shreve. The Thursday discussion about money and books was the latest instance of friction between Darrell Batson, director of Frederick County Public Libraries, and Shreve, who has scrutinized library spending and questioned the need for new branches. "It's more difficult communicating with him (Batson) than anyone else," Shreve said in a Thursday phone interview. "When I ask a question of Darrell, in some cases, he doesn't want to provide the answer." Batson says he can't give details he doesn't have.

Plans for new libraries in Frederick County could be stalled

Young proposes continued funding for schools, public safety
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
05/09/2012
Frederick County Commissioners’ President Blaine R. Young has proposed a temporary halt to the construction of new libraries in the county. Young (R) said he would like to reduce or eliminate fees collected from builders to build new libraries. Under his proposal, developers would continue to pay fees for new school construction. “I don’t want to slow down school construction or reduce the impact fees for schools, because that [school construction] is one of the priorities of this board,” he said. “It’s in our strategic plan.”

Frederick County library director accused of getting political

Library director says county gave back $450, 000 state grant
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
05/09/2012
The debate over building a new library in Walkersville took a new turn this week when the president of the county commissioners accused the library director of political posturing. “It sounds like Darrell Batson is becoming very political,” Frederick County Commissioners’ President Blaine R. Young (R) said of the county’s public library director, Darrell Batson. At issue is Batson’s criticism of proposed cuts to funding for new libraries and his assessment that the current Board of County Commissioners dismissed a $450,000-grant from the state to help construct a new Walkersville branch. Batson, who was hired by the county in 1998, also said that the commissioners effectively “stopped libraries dead” by halting the construction of all new libraries in 2010. It was that decision that forced the county to return the state grant that would have paid for a portion of a new $6-million building in Walkersville

The final chapter?

Shreve suggests shuttering Walkersville library
Frederick News Post
Pete McCarthy and Courtney Pomeroy
03/02/2012
Building a new library in Walkersville would put Frederick County on the hook for a $6.1 million tab, and at least one county commissioner is asking whether there is a cheaper alternative. Commissioner Billy Shreve has proposed dropping the new construction and merging the town's Frederick County Public Libraries branch with the Walkersville Middle School library. "My thought is why not just expand the library in the school," Shreve said Thursday. "One of the things we have to look at in these budget times is how we spend taxpayer dollars." The commissioners are reviewing the five-year Capital Improvements Plan -- a document that outlines future construction projects for the county. Building a 15,250-square-foot library does not sound like a priority, Shreve said.