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GALENA–The Galena Public Library board is back to the drawing board on its search for a new library director.
Rachel Lenstra, who was hired in early June to fill the vacancy left by library director Susi Ludwig’s resignation in March, has returned to her position as children and teen services librarian after less than two weeks at the helm.
According to Earl Thompson, library board president, Lenstra was not comfortable in the director’s position and requested she return to the position she’d held since 2012.
Lenstra’s resignation as library director puts the library board back at square one, in the position to repeat the three-month search for the right fit.
Thompson, who took on the president’s role in the spring, said the initial recruitment committee–Thompson and board members Peggy Stortz and Helen Mayberry–fielded approximately 25 applications in the first round and interviewed six of those individuals. The position was advertised on the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) website, as well as through the Illinois Library Association and eventually the American Library Association (ALA).
The top candidate in that round declined the position, as did the second choice.
The job was put back out again. Five more candidates interviewed for the position, with two interviewing a second time with the full board. Lenstra was chosen and accepted.
Since Lenstra’s resignation, Thompson said, Colleen Keleher, who served earlier as interim manager, has returned to the position she filled in the weeks following Ludwig’s departure.
Keleher is retiring in November, which gives the board a time frame in which a new director needs to be brought on board. The goal is to fill the position as soon as possible.
Thompson said Keleher decided to hire Lenstra back for the children’s and teen services position, at the recommendation of the full library board.
Thompson said he is grateful to Ludwig for remaining a generous resource throughout the transition period. She’s answered many questions and assisted when possible.
“She really has been super helpful,” said Thompson.
A new recruitment committee–board members Rick Pariser and Ginny Yarbrough–is now in place. The job was advertised again this week and is featured in this week’s Gazette.
The library board is also considering bringing a consultant on board to assist with the search, Thompson said.
The advertisement in this week’s Gazette for the library director position outlines the following qualifications:
•bachelor’s degree preferably in library science or business.
•minimum of five years experience in library services.
•managerial or supervisory experience is a plus.
•ability to interact positively with our patrons and other organizations.
The recruitment committee asks for letters of interest and resumes to be submitted by July 15.