November 26, 2012

Library system needs new director

Submitted by the Northwest Georgia Regional Library

— At their October board meeting, the Northwest Georgia Regional Library Board of Trustees authorized the posting of the search for a new library director.

The members of the Regional Library Board make up the search committee to find a replacement for former library director Joe Brown Forsee. Interim Director Nick Fogarty is an adviser to the search committee. Forsee retired in August after service in the position for more than 17 years.

Those who will serve on the search committee include representatives from the Calhoun-Gordon, Chatsworth-Murray and Dalton-Whitfield Public Library Boards.

Elizabeth Chadwick, chair of the Regional Library Board, stated that the library is conducting a national search, seeking to identify highly successful individuals who are innovative, passionate and enthusiastic leaders and business-minded managers to lead the public library. That person must have a master’s in library science, with up to seven years of library experience, and, preferably, experience in library administration for a minimum of five years.

“One of the most important qualities in a new director will be an ability to represent the library well in the community,” she said.

Fogarty said that recently there were eight vacancies for library directors at the same time throughout Georgia.

“The more vacancies there are at any given time, the more diluted the applicant pool becomes,” he said. “It’s vitally important to make candidates aware of the quality of life that is offered in Whitfield County and northwestern Georgia.” At the present time, there are no other library director vacancies in northwest Georgia.

Chadwick said though the board wants to fill the permanent position as soon as possible, it doesn’t want to rush. “We’ll do our due diligence for the staff, the board, the patrons and the community,” she said. “A new director will need to be familiar with the new technologies that have changed the face of libraries dramatically over the past few decades. We’re not just about books anymore.”

Fogarty said the salary is based on experience and level of education attained. State-paid librarians in Georgia are paid according to the state teachers salary scale. The state requires that all public library directors hold a master’s degree in library science from a university accredited by the American Library Association.

The search for a new director will be a national search, mostly advertised on websites and in other media familiar to those in the library profession, board members said.

“We want somebody with the energy and knowledge to do the job,” said Bitsy McFarland, a member of the Dalton-Whitfield Library Board.

Speaking after the board meeting, Fogarty said he will most miss representing the library in the local community. “That’s the most rewarding aspect of the job,” he said.

A new director is not expected to take over duties at the library until next spring. Fogarty plans to remain in the director’s position until that time, he said.

Applications have been coming into the Library Administration Office since early November and will be accepted through the deadline in January. In February, the Search Committee will screen applications via telephone and will schedule in-person interviews for qualified candidates for late winter.

Fogarty stated that interested applicants can find additional information including a full job description at www.ngrl.org or by calling (706) 876-1379. Further updates on the committee’s progress will be provided throughout the next few months.