Guilderland Library board hiring third party to investigate allegations from café owner

The Guilderland Public Library board will hire a third party to investigate racism and harassment allegations made by the owner of a café located at the library.

The cafe abruptly closed last week. The owner made racism and harassment allegations against library staff and patrons.

In addition, the library sent out a follow-up statement on Thursday saying that it would like to address some of the concerns that were raised as to why this vendor was selected and the rent that was charged. The answers to those questions can be found by reviewing the library’s website at, for meeting minutes, available documents including the lease agreement and recordings of previous meetings on its YouTube channel.

“As always, we appreciate the community’s patience as we navigate this matter and ask that conclusions not be drawn until all facts are known. While we await further information, the Library shall continue its regularly scheduled programming and services,” the statement said.

This is the second meeting this week.  The first was Monday night when the Board of Trustees asked for public feedback from the community. People who attended demanded transparency from the library.

Moments after the meeting wrapped, the owner of Café Con Mel, Melanie Diaz, sent a statement saying she closed immediately because she did not agree with how the library handled an employee who stole a tablet from her, and she did not feel safe continuing her business.

At Monday’s meeting, people had concerns about Diaz’s business practices.

NewsChannel 13 did some digging and found she owes more than $6,000 from a previous business.