Library Executive Director Search Narrows To Two Candidates

Search committee expects to interview prospects by mid January



The New City Library Board of Trustees learned at Thursday night’s meeting that the New Director Search Committee expects to interview two candidates by Skype by mid January.  Board Vice President Tom Ninan, who is the committee chair, said the nine-member committee reviewed resumes from 20 candidates and narrowed the field to five and finally two prospects.  The two candidates live in Keller, TX and Floral Park, NY.

Ninan said the two have been interviewed by phone and now the committee wants to schedule Skype interviews so the committee members and candidates can see each other during the next phase of the interview process. 

Trustee Ed Kallen asked if the board will have a choice of candidates and whether the resumes would be shared with the board. Board President Joseph Reiter said Kallen should have joined the search committee and that the request he was making would delay the selection process.  Reiter, who asked Ninan to run the meeting because he was not feeling well, stood up and left saying, “This is nonsense.”

Ninan, who is the board’s president-elect for 2013, said the committee was doing its job.

“That’s what the search committee was appointed for - to bring a candidate up front,” explained Ninan.   

Trustee Anthony Feliciano said the committee was working on scheduling the video interviews for a time when all the members could participate and he anticipated that both candidate interviews would take place by mid January.

Trustees Jeffrey Greenberg and Terri Thal raised some concerns. 

Greenberg noted New York State law requires the library to have a paid director in place.  The library currently does not have a director because Interim Director Marianne Silver resigned from the position effective today, December 21, to return to her post as head of adult services.  She was appointed to the interim job in May following the departure of Executive Director Chuck McMorran.

Thal said, “Although I am leaving the board I am very concerned what happens.”

Ninan said the committee might want to bring the final candidate to have an in-person interview.

“I personally if I’m paying somebody $95,000 a year with full benefits I do want them to see this facility, I do want them to meet the area, walk the streets here if they have to, so they comfortable with the library and to guide us to the next decade or two,” he said. 

When asked after the meeting how the library would be managed, Ninan said the staff will run it using the existing chain of command and if there are issues or problems, the president of the board is notified.

“It has been doing very well with the chain of command,” he said.

The board also thanked Silver for serving as interim director for about seven months.  She in turn thanked Administrative Assistant Barbara DuBois for helping her.

Terri Thal December 25, 2012 at 05:31 PM
At that meeting, trustee Kallen asked whether there is a timeline for completing the search and questioned the committee’s plan to recommend a single candidate, which would require the board to accept the search committee’s choice of a director or to start a new search. Committee chair Tom Ninan refused to tell the board the committee’s timeline, saying he needed authorization from the committee to do so. He refused to explain the committee’s criteria for reviewing candidates. Board president Reiter then castigated Mr. Kallen for not joining the committee when it was formed. These comments are astounding. All committees created by the board report to the board. The search committee is not an independent entity. Mr. Ninan owes the board reports and answers to whatever questions trustees may ask, just as he, as a trustee, demands them from other committees. Trustees are not obligated to join every committee in which they have an interestall trustees should be interested in, and may question the actions of, all committees. Unfortunately, when the board created the search committee, it gave it no guidelines. It did not set a timeline; did not tell or ask the committee how it proposed to proceed; it just asked for volunteers, saying, in effect, “be a search committee.” The board should require Mr. Ninan to tell it the process and timeline the committee is using so the board can review and request or require changes. Terri Thal Outgoing board member


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