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Morris library still searching for full-time director

Published: Friday, March 7, 2014 9:42 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, March 7, 2014 10:58 p.m. CDT

MORRIS – The Morris Area Public Library is still seeking a full-time library director.

Former Library Director Kyla Waltermire resigned in August and the board continues to search for a replacement. Waltermire did not publicly share a specific reason for leaving.

“We’ve put it out on the library system and we’ve gotten responses,” library board President Jo Dergo said. “We want to get as many [applicants] as we can and we don’t want to rush through them.”

Lynette Heiden has been acting as interim director since November, but has been splitting her week between the Newark library and the Morris library.

As previously reported, the board cut the assistant director last fall and voted for other changes in light of the library’s financial situation, which is suffering because of decreasing EAV. This action was taken before Waltermire’s resignation.

The library’s financial projections were diminishing because of falling equalized assessed values, which caused decreased property tax revenues in the county. Like the area schools, the library’s budget was suffering.

“We were in a bad position,” Dergo said. “We found ways to cut the budget that wouldn’t effect operations, and now we’re forging ahead to fill the position of director.”

She said the library currently is meeting its budget and put projects like replacing carpet on the back burner, choosing to clean it instead.

By cutting the assistant director position last fall, reducing the books budget by $10,000, the database budget by $2,000, and the architect and engineering line item by half to $2,500, the board has found a way to keep costs down.

The board would like the new director to hold a master’s degree in library science, and be able to work well with budgets and personnel.

“We want to keep our library the best it can be,” Dergo said. “We’d like to have it keep moving along like it is or better.”

She said it is important that the new director be able to work well with the staff, as well as with patron’s who support the library and ultimately pay the salaries.

“We need a good strong director,” Dergo said.

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The Morris Area Public Library is at 604 Liberty St. For information, call the Morris Area Public Library at 815-942-6880.

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