The New City Library Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Mariane Silver as interim director. She takes over for who was executive director until he left the library two weeks ago. A majority of the board had voted against opening negotiations with McMorran to renew his four-year contract.
Silver has worked at the library for 10 years. For three and a half years, the New City resident has been the head of adult services.
Board Vice President Joe Reiter said, “ Based on her experience and qualifications, she is the best person for the job and we have total confidence in her to run the library.”
Her appointment was announced after an executive session held at the end of the board’s lengthy Thursday night meeting. During the course of the meeting, board members voiced differences over how the library was operating without a director in charge.
“The sooner we appoint someone to be temporarily in charge, the smoother the library will run,” said Board President Terri Thal.
“For the last three weeks this library has been running very well,” said Trustee Tom Ninan.
Director Search Committee
The board did not make any progress on establishing a committee to search for a new executive director. Thal asked Trustee Aney Paul and then Jeffrey Greenberg to serve as chair and both declined. Ninan said the committee has to be formed before a chairperson is appointed.
“We desperately need one,” said Thal. “We need a committee.”
Thal said the committee should include board members, Friends of the Library representatives, and staff.
“People who serve on the search committee have to be able to take time during the day to do interviews,” she said. “I’m willing to serve on the committee.”
The lack of action on forming a search committee and other board decisions drew about 30 people to the meeting. Recently a citizens group has formed, named the New City Library Watch, www.nclibrarywatch.org . Several members of the community-based organization, including former board presidents, attended the meeting to inquire about the search committee’s status.
John Krenitsky read a statement from Barry Schoenhaut. Both of them are former trustees and board presidents. Many of the questions asked remained unanswered at the end of the meeting.
“It is critical that the trustees give up their childish banter, act as adults and find us a library director suitable to our community. What is the current status of the search? Within what timeframe do you expect to find a new director? And, it is essential to the community that uses the library that someone from the community should be part of that search.”
Trustee Ed Kallen asked Ninan why he was opposed to establishing a committee and Ninan replied he thought great people worked at the library. Kallen said the search committee should consider staff but also should interview other candidates and asked if Ninan had someone in mind. Ninan said he did not.