At the last scheduled Library Board of Trustees meeting before the summer break on June 15th, the Library Board unanimously appointed Kit Rubino as the interim library supervisor until a new permanent library director is hired by the board.
Director Susan Calantone, who resigned to head the Morris County Library, was at the meeting and made the recommendation to appoint an acting director or supervisor. She also outlined the process of hiring a new library director. Ms. Calantone first recommended that Elena Tsomaeva, who was on leave and who also has a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS), be appointed as interim director. Councilwoman-At-Large Charlene Storey – understanding that Ms. Tsomaeva was away and someone would be needed immediately – suggested that Ms. Rubino be appointed, “Why don’t we go with Kit and then we can talk to Ellen when she comes back?”
Ms. Calantone explained that although a director requires a Master of Library Science (MLS) or MLIS, an interim supervisor can be appointed who has neither degree. This appointee would be a point of contact or decision maker for any issues that might come up for the library.
The library board member in attendance all approved the appointment. Ms. Calantone added, “She’d have to be compensated at the end.”
The Board also discussed the process for hiring a new permanent library director. Ms. Calantone stated that Eileen M. Palmer, Executive Director of the Libraries of Middlesex Automation Consortium (LMxAC), would assist in the search for acquiring a new director through a free service included in the library’s membership to LMxAC.
Library Board member Jeff Regan, who is the acting Board President, filling in for Patricia Butler, stated, “We are going to be starting a search for a new library director. It’s going to be a difficult search but we have a lot of time to do that and do it properly and I feel confident we’ll find a person that suits our requirements.”
Ms. Calantone added that someone had already submitted their resume for the position.
Board member Dexter Delacruz asked, “Can you just walk the process through? How does it get sourced? Who’s interviewing? Etc.?”
Councilwoman-At-Large Storey, who is the council liaison to the library board, remarked that she had already received samples on other library ads and job descriptions from the LMxAC. She added, “We can tweak it and it should be approved before it goes out so we may have to have an emergency meeting at some point just to move that along.”
The Library Board usually does not meetings in July and August but the search could require a special meeting to act on matters related to the search.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to get that done within a few days. I’ll send it to Jeff, we’ll tweak, we’ll send it out and let people take a look,” stated the councilwoman regarding an ad for the position. She also discussed her outlook on the placement, “I get a little nervous over anything that’s too detailed because then I feel like if it’s not written down they’re people [who] may think will I never have to do that. On the other hand we don’t want to be too non-specific. I think it’s finding a balance between how specific we want to be. I think the more general statements are the better ones but we can decide on that.”
The ad will be placed on the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) website.
Ms. Calantone further detailed that Ms. Palmer from the LMxAC will be able to go through the resumes. She also suggested that the Library Board have a personnel committee who could do a majority of the interviewing and then have two candidates present themselves before the entire board.
Councilwoman Storey commented that she was looking at a three-month window by which time a new director would be appointed by October.