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September 11. 2013 9:10PM

Lawyers for Epping library trustees, fired librarian are in negotiations

EPPING — Lawyers for the town's library trustees and fired children's librarian Tracie Wilkins have entered negotiations, but details of their discussions have not been revealed.

Wilkins, who is fighting to get her job back at the Harvey-Mitchell Memorial Library, had been expected to go before trustees Wednesday night for a public hearing on her appeal, but it was called off.

"The two attorneys are talking back and forth, and they decided between themselves that we should postpone the hearing," said Michael Vose, chairman of the library trustees.

Wilkins, 48, has told the New Hampshire Union Leader that she was fired because she missed too many days of work. She said many of the absences were related to her seasonal depression and anxiety issues.

Library trustees have not commented on the reasons for the firing, saying it's a personnel matter.

The termination prompted a rally by dozens of supporters, many of them parents, children and community members, and led to an online petition asking trustees to bring her back. Many described Wilkins as a respected librarian who always went above and beyond and was loved by the children she served.

Vose wouldn't comment on the discussions between the two lawyers and whether they may be negotiating her return.

"I can't say exactly what they're negotiating, but there is some type of negotiations going on," Vose said.

Wilkins could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

Wilkins held the part-time position for the past 10 years. She has said she's not sure exactly how many days she missed leading up to the firing, but insisted that it was less than a dozen in the past seven months.

Wilkins has said she hopes trustees will be understanding of her health situation and have a better system in place for substitutes if she's out.

jschreiber@newstote.com


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