Library To Begin Search For New Director

May 31, 2018

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County plans to find its next director through a national search. The retirement of current director, Kim Fender, is effective June 29. 

Board of Trustee President Bill Moran says Assistant Director Paula Brehm-Heeger has been appointed Interim Director. "We did decide instead of hiring a head-hunting firm, we will internally use our HR folks to search nationally," Moran says.

(from left) Paula Brehm-Heeger has been named Interim Director. Board President Bill Moran looks on and other board members check out a new free fax service at the Price Hill branch.
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU

The library held its regular meeting at the Price Hill branch, Thursday morning. That's where patron Craig Rosen came to ask for the public's involvement in the search. He says, "Overwhelmingly 73 percent voted to pass a levy. Reach out to that community. Embrace their opinions."

Rosen says the Cincinnati Public School District does a good job engaging with the public and he thinks the library should follow that model.

A member of the activitst group "Our Library, Our Decision," Evan Cooper read employee comments from a survey. "The next director should not come from inside. We need new ideas, not ones that have been grown in house."

Other members of the group painted the library board as being out of touch. They are pushing for the library to keep the North Building open. It was recently reported to be up for redevelopment.

Moran says the library will continue to use it as a public space. "Although 3CDC would like to develop it, the reason we didn't sell it or take it off the market is because it was apraised at $3.3 million and that doesn't make any sense to sell that for that amount of money. So we're going to use it."

The board does not have a specific timetable for naming a new director.