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Berthold gives forum a mouthful about dean

The room went silent Friday afternoon when UNM associate professor Richard Berthold accused Dean of Library Services Robert Migneault of being corrupt and destructive to the general library.

What began as a relatively dull open forum — which was being held to review the general library and its dean — suddenly became a lively gathering within the quiet walls of Zimmerman Library.

A group of about 15 staff members and one student sat in Room 102, and they took turns expressing their concerns about the library. Though several library staff members in attendance expressed dissatisfaction toward the dean and the operation of libraries across campus, no one did it quite like Berthold, who teaches in the History Department and has been an adamant critic of Migneault.

“I consider this man to be an embarrassment to the community and a destruction to the library,” Berthold said after marching into the room halfway through the meeting. Berthold went on to say that he believes the dean is corrupt and then stormed out, leaving everyone in the room wide-eyed with their mouths shut.

UNM student Dowana Starkovich, who has worked in Migneault’s office since August, broke the silence and said she has faith in Migneault.

“I’d like to say that he works really hard,” she said. “He’s not a slacker.”

Starkovich said that the library meets all of her educational needs.

“I’ve never been to the Albuquerque public library because I’ve always found what I’ve needed here,” she said.

Starkovich, a former student of Berthold’s, was upset by his outburst.

“He just made me really mad —I’m shaking,” she said with a tremble in her voice. “This library is a really good library.”

Though the library is sufficient for Starkovich, Tom Cabot, a library staff member, said he can’t always find what he needs in the library.

“The collection is OK for undergrads, but not for upper levels,” Cabot said, “I think it’s an adequate library, but I think it could be better.”

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The group also discussed the possible relocation of CAPS tutoring services, now on the third floor of Zimmerman Library, virtual classrooms and several members of the library staff said they are unhappy with their pay.

A panel will evaluate the comments and then report to Provost Brian Foster.

Nancy Eaton, dean of the library at Pennsylvania State University, was on Friday’s panel. She said she was brought in to help with the review, which happens every five years.

“It’s like an accreditation process,” she said, explaining the need for the meeting.

Though many library staff members attended the meeting, Migneault, was not there. Starkovich said he was out of town.

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