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Public Library Selects New Director

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Courtesy of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
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Paula Brehm-Heeger

In a surprise move, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has selected its next leader. Interim Director Paula Brehm-Heeger takes over the permanent position immediately.Brehm-Heeger was selected from a national pool of candidates and final interviews were held this week. Human Resources Director Carl Allison says the library's board decided to go ahead and vote now while they were all together rather than wait another week.

"She laid out a very clear vision for the library and made a very compelling case for what can be," Allison says. "It was exciting to hear."

That vision includes an engaged and motivated staff; a supportive and informed community; using resources wisely; and offering library patrons what they need and want.

"From the outset of the search, the Board's ideal candidate needed to be an innovator, communicator, community builder, strategic thinker, a respected leader and an advocate for the Library," says William J. Moran, president of the Library Board of Trustees, in a statement. "In the final interview process it was clear that Paula displays every single one of these qualities, and we’re excited to see where she'll lead us."

According to the library, Brehm-Heeger has more than 25 years of experience and is the winner of the Urban Library Council Joey Rodgers Leadership Award, which helps people develop their leadership skills.

One of her first major tasks will be working on a facilities master plan.

Brehm-Heeger will oversee a system that includes 40 branches and serves more than 800,000 people. Her annual salary is set at $230,000.

She takes over from Kim Fender who retired at the end of June.