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Library to hire event coordinator

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Planning a large event at the city library soon will be easier than ever.

The Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library board of trustees plan to hire an events coordinator to help local businesses plan functions in the historic marble building.

“The majority of the trustees felt that the change in policy requiring the assistance of an events coordinator is a positive one that would free the library staff from the burden of managing these events while still ensuring that groups are compliant with the rules and procedures necessary to protect the building and its contents,” wrote Library Director Barbara J. Wheeler in a memo to the Watertown City Council.

This is not intended to be a full-time job and the coordinator will be paid by whomever is holding the function.

“As of now, weddings are not one of the events that we do in the building,” she said in an email. “However, if the events coordinator works out well, the board might reconsider in the future.”

The trustees approved the final events policy at their June meeting, after months of discussion. Under the resolution, weddings, political campaigning and religious functions are not allowed in the building. Additionally, a private party’s event cannot take place at the same time the library has an event of its own scheduled.

Last September, a resolution was passed 9-1 to prohibit events not related to the library, the Friends of the Library or the city. Mrs. Wheeler said those events led to her staff working past open hours to supervise the functions and lock the doors after they were over. She also said receptions often left residual food odors, and users don’t always clean up after their events.

“It’s just not our job to be wedding planners and event planners,” she said in a past interview.

After some trustees received criticism for the move, another resolution to revert to the old events policy at Mrs. Wheeler’s discretion was approved in December.

The coordinator will be hired within the next few months.

“Mr. Caughlin, heading a committee from the board, will write a job description for the position and secure an individual through a process of interviews, etc.,” she wrote, referring to trustee Keith B. Coughlin. “That hasn’t been done yet.”

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