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Library Hosts Community Forum On New Director Search



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Members the C.H. Booth Library Board of Trustees Search Committee hosted a community forum on Wednesday, November 30, to hear input on the process of hiring a new library director.chboothlibrary.org

The news that library Director Brenda McKinley, who became director in 2014 after starting at the library in 1995, has accepted a library director position in Ridgefield is "a bittersweet event," said Board of Trustees President Robert Geckle near the start of the forum. Mr Geckle said the board is happy for Ms McKinley, and created the Search Committee to fill the position. Mr Geckle co-chairs the Search Committee with Board of Trustees member Laura Goldstein.

Ms McKinley's last day as director of the Booth Library will be Friday, December 16, and, as the board previously announced, Beryl Harrison, assistant library director, will assume the responsibilities of interim director, effective December 17.

Mr Geckle said the Search Committee comprises three Board of Trustees members, two library staff members, and two members of the community. When the community forum began, seven people who are not members of the Search Committee were in attendance.

Information collected during the recent effort to create a strategic plan for the library and from the search for a director before Ms McKinley was hired will be used when searching for a new director, Mr Geckle said.

.Search Committee members also said the November 30 community forum will be the only public forum on the topic, but people can contact Board of Trustees members by e-mail or phone to offer input. Contact information for the Board of Trustees is available on the library's website,

Suggestions offered during the evening for what to look for in a new director included someone who is visible at both the library and in the community, someone who understands the community, someone who will spend time assessing how the library runs and how people interact before making decisions, someone who is flexible and able to work with library staff, and someone with gravitas and presence.

"We have quite a bit of information on what the town wants, and we will get someone," said Board of Trustees and Search Committee member Colleen Honan.

Near the end of the event, Mr Geckle reflected that the community input from the evening focused primarily on the personal skills of the new director, and that he heard the requests to find the right personal attributes along with technical ability to do the job.

While a specific time frame for the search is not known, Mr Geckle said applications are due to be in by December 15 and the Search Committee hopes to complete its efforts in March.

The hiring process is not a "foolproof process," Mr Geckle said, but he added the Search Committee will do its best. The Search Committee also intends to keep the public as informed as possible in the upcoming months on any updates, he said.

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