Meeting Minutes: August 5, 2009
Notes from the Meeting:
1. Commissioners in attendance: Sheila McElwaine, Timothy Moriarty, Vera O'Connor.
2. Due to Library Director Emily Bader's recent retirement Helen Caulton-Harris, Springfield's Health and Human Services Director, announced that Mayor Sarno has named Lee Fogarty (currently Assistant Director) as Interim Library Director. Ms. Fogarty has been with the Library Department since 1978 and in her current capacity since 1994. Carol Leaders, Business Manager, will assume some of Ms. Fogarty's current responsibilities. Ms. Caulton-Harris then spoke to Commissioners regarding the process of hiring a new Director, beginning with the “request to fill” and posting on the city's website. It is expected to be a regional search due to bordering states providing a “rich applicant pool” from which to draw. Commissioner McElwaine expressed her concerns about the Library Commission By-Laws being in conflict with the City Charter regarding the process, believing that their By-Laws should now be amended. Ms. Caulton-Harris told the Commissioners that their role in the search process is in a “strong advisory capacity,” and that the Library Commission Chairman should be a member of the Library Director search committee. She explained:
- The process will be a fair process.
- The opening will be posted for one month.
- There is no residency requirement.
- A pool of candidates will be chosen.
- Candidates will meet with an interview committee.
- The Library Commission in a public meeting will interview the final candidates, and recommend a first and second choice for the position of Library Director.
- The search committee will make the final decision, based on the candidate's skills, competencies, and requirements.
Ms. McElwaine expressed her belief that residency is imperative, and that the new Library Director should have a Master's of Public Administration degree in addition to a Master's of Library Science degree.
In addition there was discussion regarding appointments and terms of current Library Commissioners. Ms. Caulton-Harris indicated that she or someone from the Mayor's office would be in touch with current Commissioners whose terms had expired to discuss their interest in continuing in their roles on the Library Commission, and that the Mayor was planning to fill vacant positions in the near future.
Ms. Caulton-Harris stated that since Commissioner Madeline Landrau has been absent from most if not all Library Commission meetings over the past year, Mayor Sarno probably would not reappoint her. She was also informed that Hector Toledo notified the Library Department of his resignation from the Library Commission this past week.
3. Ms. McElwaine expressed her appreciation and satisfaction with the progress of the lift project at the Forest Park Branch Library, and the cleanliness of the work site.
4. Director's Report: Ms. Fogarty explained that the Library now has a page on Facebook, a good way to connect with the younger generation, but necessitating that the Library develop a “Social Networking Policy.”
The meeting of Springfield Library Foundation, held on August 4, was discussed. Ms. Fogarty attended the meeting and reported that the Foundation had voted to appropriate monies for the purchase ($850,000) of the Mason Square Branch Library from the Urban League. The Springfield Library Foundation will also cover all costs for relocation of the Urban League, and for operating costs for a full service library at that location for three years, the “difference between the City and the actual budget.” (Ms. Fogarty has supplied the City Financial Department with the actual operating budget for Mason Square Branch Library.) A vote on the Mason Square Branch Library will be on the August 24 th City Council agenda.
The next Library Commission meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2, in the Central Library Community Room.