Carol Stream library considering firms for director search

Posted8/2/2012 1:49 PM

The Carol Stream Public Library board is set to pick from two search firms to help find a new library director.

Either firm, once selected, also is expected to recommend candidates for interim director.


The board on Wednesday held off hiring either consultant -- Alice Calabrese Berry or Bradbury Associates/Gossage Sager Associates -- until representatives make a formal presentation about their qualifications and services.

That could happen as soon as the board's next regularly scheduled meeting Aug. 15.

Board President Mike Wade already has talked with officials from the two firms, who submitted written proposals to him.

Berry is the former executive director of the Metropolitan Library System, current president of the River Forest Public Library board, and an adjunct faculty member at Dominican University. Her fee is $100 an hour, which could total between $7,000 and $10,000 for a library the size of Carol Stream's, Berry wrote in a letter to Wade.

Bradbury is a national library executive search firm headquartered in Kansas City, but has offices in Evanston. The firm charges a fee of $18,000.

Both search experts said in their written proposals they would advertise the open position, lead focus group discussions with the board and library stakeholders, review resumes and suggest preferred candidates based on criteria established through the focus groups.

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The search for a director follows the firing of Ann Kennedy on July 25 after six years as director and a total of 20 years at the library.

Wade, a longtime opponent of Kennedy's plans for a new library facility, proposed her firing in response to several "communication issues" he outlined in a four-page document distributed to trustees in a closed meeting.

Kennedy called her dismissal "personal" because Wade's voting majority included David DeRango and Dominick Jeffrey -- whose significant others filed lawsuits against the library after Kennedy fired them as circulation desk clerks.

The plaintiffs, Linda DeRango and Elaine Wierdak, argued they were targeted by Kennedy because they, too, opposed a tax increase referendum to build a new library.

Wierdak's suit was settled out of court in 2010; DeRango's is pending in federal court.

Mary Clemens, the library's head of youth services, was appointed last week as the interim director until another interim, or permanent director, is selected. Clemens also is overseeing responsibilities for her old position, director of circulation.


On Wednesday, Wade said one of the search firms recommended Marilyn Boria, the now-retired former director of the Elmhurst Public Library, as a possible interim director for Carol Stream. Boria served as an interim library director in Sugar Grove when its board ousted its director last year.

The Carol Stream library's human resources administrator has put out queries to 10 directors of libraries of similar size to see if they would be willing to serve as an interim.

The library board also decided Wednesday to put the search for a new assistant library director on hold until a permanent director is selected.

Kennedy said she had conducted phone interviews and was about to do in-person interviews for the assistant position.

But now that the library is without a permanent director, Clemens recommended to board members they hire Kennedy's replacement first.

"We feel to hire an assistant before a director was putting the cart before the horse," Clemens said.

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