STOCKTON, Mo. — In early April, while registered voters were casting ballots on Election Day, workers at the Stockton Branch of the Cedar County conducted a vote of their own.
The result? The staff walked out and haven’t returned for the past 10 days.
“I think most of it is, my perception of it, is that the library board members are somewhat overstepping their authority and they feel the need to manage the employees,” Stockton resident Cindy Malone said.
Malone says this isn’t the first time it has happened.
“I’m hoping that our county commissioners can address this and come up with a resolution,” Malone added.
She says the library provides the rural area with more than books, saying many people use the resources, from pastors needing the printer for their sermons, to those who just need to use the World Wide Web.
“It’s a vital source in our community. It brings people who don’t have internet service, internet service,” Malone said. “I’ve seen people parked out in the parking lot since it’s been closed, trying to get onto the Wi-Fi.”
Another resident upset is Parker Laub.
“I spend over 10 hours a week playing Dungeons and Dragons with a lot of the library staff and a handful of other friends,” Laub said.
Laub says he was present when the walkout happened.
“They left everything in perfect order. They turned in their keys, and then they walked out about 2 hours later.”
Now there has been progress toward re-opening.
When KOLR 10 crews went to the library, they found a sign saying starting the week of April 17, the library would be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays.
“I feel like it’s something, even if it’s close to nothing,” Laub said. “At least you can get books and turn them in. A lot of the issues of the library being closed are not solved.”
KOLR 10 reached out to the Cedar County Library District for comment but did not hear back.