Half Hollow Hills Library Director Ousted

Trustees of the Half Hollow Hills Community Library have ousted executive director Helen Crosson.

A man who is active as a patron at the library said that on Monday night, the board went into executive session after hearing some members of the audience read letters complaining about Crosson’s management style. He said she was told to resign at that executive session and to not return to the building. The board then approved two resolutions, the first suspending her indefinitely with pay “until such time she resigns or is otherwise terminated” and then giving her until Monday to submit her voluntary resignation.

Information about their action appears in items 26 and 27 of the draft minutes posted on the library’s website.

But there is no information about the reason for her the firing.

Less than a year ago, Crosson led the opening of the new library building with a packed celebration attended by scores of residents and political leaders.

She became executive director in January 2015.

Bob Resch, a member of the Men’s Club at Half Hollow Greens, said, “When they hired Helen Crosson, she energized us. She came in with new ideas that Half Hollow deserved. We had fallen far behind. She came on board and came with new fresh ideas. The facility is wonderful; programs are wonderful. My family has been here for 53 years, and we’ve never been so involved in a library.

“I hate to see someone who’s done a good job to be treated this way,” he said, noting that the club had voted in large numbers to support the library’s rebuilding and budget.

He said he believed that the board’s decision may have energized Greens members against the next budget vote, on April 11.



Board Meeting Draft Minutes March 27 2023

New Half Hollow Hills Library Opens to Celebration


8 Replies to “Half Hollow Hills Library Director Ousted”

  1. This article is clearly biased. The names of the meeting’s attendees are clearly and plainly listed in the attached draft of the minutes and the reporter chose to interview one person from a very specialized community group. Interview the people who attended the meeting also if you want an honest and balanced article. Until then, this is just fake news.

  2. With respect, I have been a patron there and have seen the director demean staff in public, follow minority teens around and critique them for their outfits (also in public), all the while — dismissing members of the public when they voice concerns about the library.

    She is detached from what the people really need and has an ego bigger than the building. Everyone in the community talks about how staff keep leaving and they all say it is out of fear of her because she has a reputation for being vengeful and hateful.

    This reporter did not do their due diligence as it seems like they only cared to interview a very specific subsect of the community that has a clear bias. To be balanced, this article should be retracted until they can interview the staff or their labor representatives.

  3. I would like to see the library staff’s perspective on this….this article is very one sided! I know people who go to this library and go occasionally myself, and they say that there always seems to be new staff with older staff leaving every month…

  4. Members of the Half Hollow Hills community have been dissatisfied with the director (and the new library) from the very beginning for numerous reasons. She represented a financially powerful and vocal faction within the community (see article above). Her vision cost the community a cost overrun of almost double the original proposed budget, from 15M to 24.7M and created a sterile behemoth of a structure in a beautiful residential community. There are virtually no places sit and read a book comfortably and let’s not even mention the lack of computers to research the card catalog. This is especially evident in the children’s section of the library. And, of course, unless you live in the area, you wouldn’t see how the entire building is garishly and blindingly lit at night, all night. All this and a director who has mistreated and demeaned the employees and patrons on consistent basis. The Trustees acted responsibly in removing Ms. Crosson. Now if they could just look at the building’s electric bill and turn off some of those 10,000 watt bulbs we may have some further improvements.

  5. In my opinion, this article is very one-sided and does not properly depict the situation. I believe that this article was written as a result of Ms. Crosson calling Huntington Now (HN) or requesting that a patron residing in the Greens community contact HN. Therefore, I would encourage this publication, and a representative of the taxpayers in the Greens, to speak with members of the library staff including officers of the employees’ union, Librarians, Circulation Clerks, Custodians and Security Guards, to garner the truth. I also believe that the other members of the current Administrative Office are wholly complicit and cannot be trusted, as they have known about this untenable situation since Ms. Crosson arrived at HHHCL and have not blown the whistle. Undeniably, this library has seen a record number of excellent staff members leave since Ms. Crosson became Director. As a part of a Board probe, many former staffers either returned in-person or wrote statements regarding the “demoralizing” and “toxic” management style of Crosson. These are not jobs that are surrendered easily, especially in the Huntington Zone where libraries are excellent and the jobs are desirable. They are highly competitive positions and many stay at one library for entire careers. More importantly, the morale of the current staff is decimated and they are the ones serving the community. They certainly deserve a workplace free of hostility, verbal abuse and retaliation. Besides deserving it, it is their LEGAL right and Ms. Crosson has put the library and the taxpayers at risk for legal action against HHHCL. Be sure that the Board of HHHCL did not make this decision lightly and without merit. They made the correct decision. Do not punish the thousands of patrons and the current staff by voting down the budget as a result of holding a narcissist accountable for abusive behaviors. Do not give Ms. Crosson any more power over this library.

  6. Wow. The people posting here claimed to be quite the knowledgeable ones about the library. Sounds like the woman was unceremoniously tossed out and that may or may not have been a legit fire, but the folks posting here act as if that library is the only thing in their life and so their posts are a little disbelievable as well.

  7. Very interesting this has occurred now. Where was our esteemed board members when the program, plans , studies, and elevations and finally materials were being considered for our new library? That is a process before you do any work at all. Surely as you indicate, you place fault on one person, but the board members should also have been participating in the planning stage. If you had no real ability in this area, I know there are plenty of professionals in our community that would have volunteered their time to participate in an experienced capacity. I am one of them. I totally agree , the very long awaited project which took forever to me is aesthetically not pleasing, the interior use and flow is awkward and lacking in many respects.the exterior resembles a factory with school house brick, its not very attractive. I watched the lack of progress lumbering along over many years during the pandemic, and wondered what kind of contract was agreed to, so generous with time. I finally toured the library with my husband a few months back, totally disappointed. On the perimeter were some small rooms mostly occupied by young people being inappropriately friendly with each other,few-if none were studying. The two guards? Sat eating at a long hi table with their backs to the entry. We walked upstairs to find 3 young ladies occupying some comfortable chairs, drinking sodas and talking very loudly as if they were at home , laughing and left the area after maybe half an hour in a total mess. Their debris attested to their lack of respect for this new very costly building added to our tax rolls. Both my husband and myself felt uncomfortable trying to pursue the book stacks, had nowhere to sit. It was noisy and unwelcoming. I felt maybe we are getting old and don’t appreciate the free spirit of much of our undisciplined youth today, Everyone is afraid to say anything. It It is true a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, well, we have tons of weak links. If the complaints against your director were mounting, it must have been occurring over a long period of time and should have been addressed prior and not reached this point. Just like this building which to me is most unappealing should have never reached the point of no return. But that is my opinion, others may not agree. It is the responsibility of many to make sure things are done correctly, to the aesthetic appreciated by the community.Our old building was aged, but it belonged to the community. The staff was wonderful, helpful, they knew us. This is not the same welcoming place those of us that used it have now. So sorry , but this is very disappointing in much more than one way .

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