To the Editor:
I was a trustee of the Albany, NY public library system in the 1990s and want to share with the Booth Library Trustees a few things that helped our Board search for and find a new director when our incumbent departed suddenly.
Conduct a nationwide search. Public librarians across the country are well aware of the crucial support that the Booth Library provided this community after 12/14. No doubt there are many highly qualified public library directors who would find this an exciting and rewarding career opportunity. It’s important to look for candidates who have built their careers in public libraries. Academic or corporate library experience doesn’t prepare you for the challenges of directing a public library.
Involve staff in the hiring process. Once you’ve narrowed the search to a few finalists, let the staff participate in the final rounds of interviews. You’ll get important feedback from them. And as the past few weeks have demonstrated, this community loves its library and wants to be involved in shaping its future. Invite some key members to meet the finalists in a social setting, perhaps over lunch or at a reception in the library. If there’s one thing we learned in Albany, it’s that a transparent process makes for a better outcome.
29 Dodgingtown Road, Newtown September 18, 2013