Public Library board votes to extend search for new director

At a meeting in mid-January, the Board of Trustees of the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County voted to extend the search for Library director, upon recommendation of the search committee.

Reporting for the search committee, Trustee Alex Benyo made the motion on Jan. 19 to extend the search.

“We did a very thorough search across the country and many candidates were interviewed. We are in 100 percent agreement that we need to continue the search,” Benyo said. “We want to attract just the right candidate.”

Bradbury Associates/Gossager Sager Associates will continue the search at no additional cost to the Library. The terms of their contract guaranteed a successful search. The Bradburys have set a tentative timetable for the national search, which includes advertising for the position in about a month and a cut-off for applications around the end of April. Interviewing is expected to take place in May. “We are hoping to have someone in place sometime in July,” said Jobeth Bradbury.

Sears and Library Trustees will work on a bridge for this transition, since the process of selecting a new director will now extend past his original March 30 date of departure. He will meet with the Board’s personnel committee to discuss. The Board will need to take formal action to put such an extension into place.

All candidates interested in the position will need to submit their interest, even if they had applied in the first round. The two candidates that visited Mahoning County this week, Juliet Machie and John Weedon, would again be considered if they choose to apply.

The first search yielded 25 applications and 18 of these were deemed fully qualified, according to Dan Bradbury. The list was pared down to a field of eight and then to three.

“The Search Committee and Library Trustees felt it was important to explore all options and not hurry the process,” said Janet Loew, Library communications and public relations director. “They are open to the possibility that other well-qualified candidates may yet emerge. Some time has elapsed since the Dec. 7 deadline for submitting applications and this opens the possibility that people not previously considering a job change may be motivated to apply at this time. Our trustees are taking great care with the process with a goal of finding a director who is a perfect fit for our library system and who will build on the fine work our current director has done.”

Members of the Library Board of Trustees Search Committee are: Dr. David Ritchie,Trustee president; Trustees Alex Benyo, Delores Crawford and Kathryn Bennett; Library Director Carlton Sears; Library Assistant Director Mary Pullin; Library Human Resource Director Ruth Bradshaw; and community member Joyce Brooks, who has actively participated in sessions of Library Strategic Planning, including the current Library 2011 plan.

For information: http://www.libraryvisit.org/directorsearch.aspx

In other action, the Board voted to re-elect the following officers: President, Dr. David Ritchie; Vice President, Delores Crawford; Fiscal Officer, Susan Merriman; Deputy Fiscal Officer/Secretary, Tin McBane; Library Director, Carlton Sears.

Additionally, the following trustees, whose terms were to expire this month, were re-elected to three year terms: Dr. David Ritchie, Alex Benyo, Millicent Counts, Thomas M. Frost and Judith Schmutz.

The Board also approved a motion authorizing the fiscal officer to place and open bids for the Jackson-Milton Branch Library project. Although the project is not ready to go for bids just yet, the Board was authorizing action when ready. Architect Ronald Cornell Faniro is preparing construction documents in anticipation of being ready to go for bids in late March.

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