NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Library Director Mindy Hackner plans to retire in a year and urged the board of trustees to start looking for her replacement sooner rather than later.
Hackner told the trustees Wednesday that Assistant Library Director Kim DiLego, whom Hackner hoped would step into the director position, is not interested.
"I had always hoped to cultivate Kim as the person who would succeed me ... but we have discovered that she doesn’t want to do it," Hackner said. "So that being said, you are going to be tasked with finding someone because I will be retiring in June of 2019."
Hackner was hired in 2014. She had worked at the David and Joyce Milne Public Library in Williamstown for nearly 18 years and then a brief stint at the Dalton Public Library. The previous director, Rick Moon, is now the McCann Technical School librarian.
She has already begun preparing her job description and a list of her duties.
"I am going back now and making a complete compendium of annual chores ... quarterly things, things that come up monthly, things that come up weekly and things that come up daily," she said.
Hackner also recommended that the city hire someone with a business background who recently obtained a master of information science degree, so that he or she is abreast of new technology and other things the modern librarian needs to know.
Trustee Rich Remsberg asked if they should conduct a nationwide search but Hackner said for how much the position pays, it would not be worth it.
"For what I am paid no ... you would pay some heavy-duty money to advertise," she said. "I am the lowest paid library director in the state and the city knows that ... you are competing with much larger salaries."
Hackner suggested they start the search process this winter.
In other business, Youth Services Librarian Sara Russell-Scholl said this summer the library will utilize a $5,000 grant through the North Adams SteepleCats collegiate baseball team to host a new summer reading program.
"The SteepleCats would really like to see this collaboration of creating what they call the 'Cubs Club,' " Russell-Scholl said. "It would help to foster some more youth culture at the ballpark and the SteepleCats players would be involved in summer reading program activities that would be community-based."
She said kids would receive some sort of membership card at a game and would be assigned a player as a mentor.
Russell-Scholl said the players will be involved in summer reading program at the library as well as programming at the former Sleepy's property on Main Street, which is slated to become a temporary baseball museum and community space.
Russell-Scholl said $2,000 from the grant will be used to hire a summer employee to help run the program.
"We already have a really robust summer reading program that we do, and it would just not be possible for me to do all that they are asking," she said.
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Registration Deadline, Absentee Ballots for Municipal Elections
Wednesday, Oct. 16, is the last day to register to vote in the municipal elections being held on Tuesday, Nov. 5. The city clerks' offices in North Adams and Pittsfield will be open until 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
Absentee ballots also are available for the North Adams and Pittsfield elections in the offices of the city clerks in both cities. Deadline for all absentee ballots to be submitted is Monday, Nov. 4, by noon.
The office in North Adams is open from 8 to 4:30 weekdays; voters wishing to have a ballot mailed to them must send a written request to the City Clerk's Office, 10 Main St., North Adams MA 01247.
In Pittsfield, absentee ballots can be obtained during business hours at the Registrar of Voters Office in City Hall. They may be submitted via mail, fax, or email, or in person by the deadline.
Trustee Chairwoman Robin Martin told the rest of the board last week that she has solicited input from the public and those close to Cariddi and there was a consensus that something visual should be done to memorialize the late state representative at the library.
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