Ferndale Library Board Starts Director Search
Board president Jim O'Donnell said the board is seeking a local candidate and will also review resumes received in 2011.
The search is on for a new library director after it was announced late last month that former Ferndale Public Library Director Kate Pohjola was no longer in the position as of Aug. 23.
The Ferndale Library Board of Trustees will discuss details of the search process at its next meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the library.
Board president Jim O'Donnell said that due to employee privacy reasons, he could not say whether Pohjola resigned or was let go.
"All we can control is what we do now. What's done is done," O'Donnell said, noting that he understands why people want more information. "As a public body people want to know that we're going to make the best decisions that we can possibly make going forward."
Pohjola was hired as the Ferndale library's director on Aug. 1, 2011, after being selected as one of four candidates out of 25 resumes for formal interviews and then later had an informal meet-and-greet with the community.
Previously, she was director for Lapeer District Library.
Pohjola declined to comment on the situation when asked by Patch late last week.
The library director before Pohjola, Douglas Raber, resigned in February 2011, taking a position as director for a library in Marion, Iowa.
Ed Burns, the library's Head of Adult Services, is serving as acting director until a permanent director is hired and begins work.
At the board's meeting on Thursday, trustees will be interviewing a candidate for an open trustee position and are expected to discuss more about the library director position criteria.
"Every time there's a change and you have to seek a new person for a job position you always want to look at what you need from that particular position. What does the library need from a library director right now," he said. "Even if you have done that recently ... you want to look at what's changed with the environment."
O'Donnell said the board will seek a local candidate and will likely advertise through the local library network. Internal candidates will also be considered, he said.
"We've still retained all the resumes that we received in 2011 so we'll take another look at those," he said. "We won't have a search committee - instead the board will just do this as a committee as a whole."
O'Donnell said the board hopes to receive applications in September, do interviews in October and reach a decision that same month, if possible.
The Ferndale Library Board of Trustees is an independent library board that was formed in 2005. The board has hired two library directors - one in 2008 and one in 2011.
In 2008, Dr. Doug Raber was hired as director to refresh the operations of the library and to oversee the library's renovation and expansion project.
"He successfully completed that project and left to take a job at a larger library located much closer to his extended family," O'Donnell wrote in a statement.