Government, Human Resources, and Law

Librarian accused of poor people skills sues library

May 5, 2014
| By AP |
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Librarian accused of poor people skills sues library
Parents and their kids visit the children’s section at a library. Photo via wikimedia.org

A dispute over how a librarian in the region treated visitors has turned into a federal lawsuit.

Shirley Whitt claims she was a victim of discrimination, based on age and other issues, when the Van Buren District Library said it would transfer her from the Gobles branch, west of Kalamazoo.

She had worked there for more than 20 years.

The 67-year-old Whitt retired in 2011 instead of accepting the transfer.

But the library denies any discrimination. It says patrons regularly complained about Whitt's "poor demeanor" and "unwelcoming attitude."

Over the years, Whitt was accused of pulling a sucker from a child's mouth, treating kids harshly and taking a stuffed animal from children.

The library is asking a Grand Rapids federal judge to dismiss the discrimination lawsuit. 

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