Arlington Heights library board may hire recruiter to find new director

 
 
Updated 6/8/2018 9:35 PM
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  • The Arlington Heights Memorial Library has been without a permanent executive director since September, but the library board is considering hiring a recruiter in hopes of filling the open position by the fall.

      The Arlington Heights Memorial Library has been without a permanent executive director since September, but the library board is considering hiring a recruiter in hopes of filling the open position by the fall. Mark Black | Staff Photographer, 2008

The Arlington Heights Memorial Library board is considering hiring a consultant to recruit candidates for its open executive director position, with an eye toward making a hire by the fall.

Board members met this week with John Keister, a former Cook Memorial Public Library and Ela Area Public Library trustee who has run his own Vernon Hills-based executive search firm since 1987.

Keister, who recently completed director searches for libraries in Palatine and Park Ridge, responded to the Arlington Heights library board's request for proposals seeking industry consultants to assist with the search and hiring process for a new executive director. While the board hasn't hired Keister, he's so far the only one invited for an in-person interview by the board.

Keister, who has done more than 300 executive searches, told trustees at a committee of the whole meeting that he focuses on recruiting -- sometimes encouraging people to apply even if they didn't know the job was available. Keister said he would meet with staff, trustees and Friends of the Library, and do initial screening interviews with candidates before bringing them to the board.

The whole search process -- at a cost of $19,500 -- would take three to four months, he said.

"The way I see my job as a search consultant: I don't recommend who to hire. What I do is try to put in place the right process so you end up hiring the right person," Keister said.

If the board hires Keister or any other consultant, it could be as early as its next meeting, June 19.

Former director Jason Kuhl resigned last September citing personal reasons, and is now director of a library district in suburban St. Louis. Mike Driskell, the director of administration, has been serving as interim executive director.

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