Kate Pohjola Selected As Ferndale Public Library Director
Library Director for the Lapeer District Library has verbally accepted the position as director for the Ferndale Public Library.
The Ferndale Public Library Board of Trustees, at a special meeting on Saturday, selected Kate Pohjola, currently the director of the Lapeer District Library, to be Ferndale's next library director.
After an offer was determined, Board of Trustees vice president Jim O'Donnell called Pohjola to give her the news. And after a slight negotiation, Pohjola verbally accepted the position.
"She was very happy," O'Donnell said.
Pohjola was one of four candidates selected out of 25 resumes for formal interviews. From there, the board decided to call Pohjola back for an informal meet-and-greet with the community, which took place on Tuesday.
Pohjola, who grew up in Berkley and went to Berkley High School, received a masters in Library and Information Science at Wayne State University. She was a branch supervisor for the Warren Public Library for six years and director for the Lapeer District Library for the last six years.
"She showed strong leadership, a passion for public libraries and the ability to work with virtually anyone," Board President John Sterritt said after the meeting.
Sterritt said it was important for the new library director to have the experience and the ability to work with a diverse staff and patronage. The library board also said it wants to do some major fundraising in the future and Pohjola will be a big part of that. Sterritt said the board would start to develop a strategic plan for the future now that the director's position is shored up.
The former library director, Douglas Raber, resigned in February, taking a position as director for a library in Marion, Iowa. Ed Burns, head of reference and adult services at the library, was filling in as interim library director while the board searched for a permanent one.
Unlike the search that produced Raber, which was conducted on a national level by a consultant, the search for Pohjola was done internally and focused in Michigan. The board formed a search committee that consisted of two board members, two library staffers and two members of Friends of the Ferndale Library. "It was a great process, a team process," said Board member Darlene Johnson-Bignotti.
The board also discussed its desire to have a director around long term.
"The previous director did not have any roots here," Burns said. "(Pohjola) has roots here. She wants to be at this area. She has people here, she'll fit in very well in Ferndale."
Pohjola was offered and verbally accepted a salary of $77,000. The board is currently taking steps to finalize the selection. O'Donnell said Pohjola could start as early as Aug. 1.