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New City Library Executive Director Departs

Chuck McMorran left on Friday for position in New Orleans

 

’s last day at the library was Friday, May 4.  McMorran left to take a position as assistant city librarian with the New Orleans Library System. His responsibilities involve oversight of the 13 branches and main library. McMorran's  term as New City executive director was going to end this summer because a majority of the library’s Board of Trustees had voted not to renew his contract. 

McMorran was with the for almost four years; his current contract was due to expire in August. A majority of library board members voted in February against renegotiating his contract. Community members attended the board meetings in March and April to show their support for McMorran and ask why the board decided not to renew his contract. 

Adult Reference Supervisor Marianne Silver is the senior staff member and is acting as director until the board meets on Thursday, May 17 to decide what to do about the vacancy.  In April, the board voted 5 – 3 against forming a committee to search for McMorran’s replacement. It also voted to institute a hiring freeze.   

McMorran posted a blog on the library’s website on his final day. 

Dear Friends and neighbors,  

I will be leaving soon and I want to thank each and every one of you for the honor and privilege of serving as Director of the New City Library.  It has been an exciting time and I take comfort in knowing that I leave a stronger and better library. 

Customer service has been the hallmark of my tenure.   A thorough review of procedures was undertaken and completed to ensure it was a customer friendly library.   Customer Service was highlighted at every staff meeting with many staff development efforts to ensure staff is prepared to go beyond customer expectations.  The Library has become known in the region to have the best and most responsive staff. 

Significant new and innovative use of technology has been introduced for the convenience of customers and improved internal operations.   Self check units were smoothly introduced.  Customers have quickly grown to use the museum pass online reservation system.  The New City website was recreated using shareware software.  The New City Library was the first library in New York State to provide downloadable music.  In 2010 the Library received the Services to Youth award from the Rockland County Youth Bureau and the prestigious Innovative Library Award from the New York State Public Library Association. 

Statistics show similar successes.  In the last three years the circulation of materials has increase 19.6%.  This is contrary to national and local trends as libraries report a decline in usage.  The New City Library has the highest circulation per capita in Rockland County.    More significant was the 2010 RCLS statistical report that showed that the New City Library has one of the lowest costs per circulation (Personnel and operational costs divided by the number of items checked out).  

The building is safer and more attractive than it has been in years.   Some of the changes have been:

• Replacement of the front steps and porch with long lasting blue stone over previously cracking and deteriorating tile.

• Renovation of the Children’s garden including repair of the brick work. 

• Repainting of many areas of the Library. 

• Creation of a Teen Room to meet the needs and interest of younger library customers 

• New Carpeting throughout most major public spaces the design of which recently won a carpet industry award. 

• Applying for and receiving New York State Construction Grant that provided a renovated lobby area that streamlined many processes and a new circulation desk.

 None of this would have been achieved without the public support from you our customers.   In the past three years you have approved the library’s budget referendum with a resounding YES vote to support your library.  For this I truly thank you and hope that you will continue to support the library next December when the budget will again be voted on. 

Thank you once again. 

Mike Hirsch May 08, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Sorry to see you go Chuck. Our loss will be New Orleans' gain. Send us your address so we can party down there.
William Demarest (Editor) May 09, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Best wishes to Chuck in his new post.
Charles McMorran (Chuck) May 09, 2012 at 06:52 PM
A small but large correction please! I will be Assistant City Librarian for the New Orleans Public Library. This involves oversight of their 13 branches and the main library. It is an exciting time in still recovering from Katrina. I will miss the library and my friends in the community, but this is an opportunity I couldn't pass up. Thanks for all your support.
Robin Traum (Editor) May 09, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Chuck The corrections have been made to the article. Good luck to you in your new post.

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