By Mac Cerullo
---- — AMESBURY – The search for a new library director in Amesbury has dragged on longer than expected, and now city officials have reposted the job opening on the city’s website after the first round of applications didn’t produce a permanent director.
Mayor Thatcher Kezer said the city is accepting applications and his hope is that some interviews can be scheduled before the holidays. He added that there is no application deadline this time and the position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.
Kezer said the city originally had two finalists for the position, but had to repost the job opening after both declined to accept it. One of the finalists accepted another job elsewhere, while the other had to decline for personal reasons, Kezer said.
“If there are no candidates interested in interviewing before the holidays, then we’ll reopen it after January,” Kezer said.
Amesbury has been searching for a permanent library director since former director Patty DiTullio stepped down in mid-August to take a similar position at the Boxford Public Library.
Initially the city hired Katharine Ritter as interim director through BiblioTemps, an agency that provides temporary employees to libraries in transition, but the city wound up letting her go after about a month in favor of assistant library director Erin Matlin.
Matlin has now served as interim director for more than three months, which is considerably longer than she had originally anticipated, but she said the library is still running smoothly and other than some of the programs she used to run, things are operating the same as usual.
“The process is definitely taking longer than we expected, but we definitely anticipate finding a suitable candidate,” Matlin said. “As far as holding down the fort goes, the staff has been great and we haven’t really slowed down too much, the only thing we have slowed down is our adult programming, but otherwise we’re doing great.”
Matlin reiterated that she is not interested in taking the director position full-time, even though many people have encouraged her to, and that she would prefer to continue serving as assistant library director in the same capacity as before.
“Right now I just want to focus on my family, and I do enjoy what I was doing as assistant director,” Matlin said, adding that she’s learned a lot over the past few months as interim director.
According to the job posting listed on the city’s website, the library director’s salary will be between $65,000 and $70,000 annually, and candidates must have a master’s degree in Library Science, a minimum of five years professional experience in a library environment with at least three years in an administrative and/or supervisory capacity, and Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners certification.
The position is described as requiring “a dynamic community and patron-focused librarian responsible for overseeing all library operations,” and the responsibilities include development and preservation of collections, budget development and management, community outreach, strategic planning, program coordination, the library’s physical plant and surrounding grounds and staff supervision.”
Candidates are also expected to have knowledge of “the theory and practices of library services in a public library setting” as well as experience with computers, web-based information systems and databases used in public libraries.