Letter of Resignation from Biblioteca President

February 12,  2016

It is with a heavy heart that I announce my resignation as President of the Board of Directors at the Biblioteca of San Miguel de Allende, effective as of February 1, 2016. The reasons for my resignation are many.

In October I was diagnosed with cancer. Needless to say, that alone has been very stressful, and I am in the process of recuperation. The difficulties I have experienced at the Biblioteca have not been conducive to my healing and, therefore, I thought it best to resign now.

I want you to know that I went into Presidency full of energy and was ecstatic with the possibility of making the library a better place for the entire San Miguel community. Its function is vital to the Mexican children, ex-pats and tourists alike. As an educator, my priorities included (scaffolding)—(what’s that?) the English as a Second Language program, offering adult education courses for Mexicans, improving the scholarship program and continuing to offer Science Club to children ages 8-16 in both English and Spanish. I surrounded myself with board members who are intelligent, distinguished professionals in varied fields with the intention of sharing our expertise to improve the services provided by the library.

Unfortunately, it would appear that the key issues facing the Biblioteca are not understood either by the membership or the staff. The financial status of the organization is precarious to the point of unsustainability— driven in large part by the high cost of administration and the requirement for the organization to contribute 5 percent of gross revenue to the scholarship fund even at times of net loss. Indeed, employing 38 people to staff the Biblioteca has become burdensome and is truly unworkable. Second, the Bylaws, written over ten years ago, are out-of-date and do not reflect the world in which the Biblioteca operates. They need to be rigorously revised—immediately.

It was never my intention to leave this valuable institution in turmoil but unfortunately that is what has happened. Complacency on the part of the membership and resistance to change by the staff have frustrated this board, all of whom have given freely of their time and expertise.

The Biblioteca plays a vital role in our community, and I can only hope that the new administration will be able to solve the myriad of problems that have developed over the years. I have served the Biblioteca for more than a decade in a variety of roles but now due to my illness I can no longer struggle to keep the institution afloat.

Dr. Robert Merrill remains as Interim President until the March 4 elections, and I truly hope that the community comes out to vote for qualified people to ensure better days for the Biblioteca.

Sincerely,

Rita DeBrito

 

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