Chesterton Tribune



Phil Baugher named interim director of Westchester Public Library

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The Westchester Public Library has begun searching for a new Director.

WPL Director Leea Yelich is moving on, the Board of Trustees announced at its meeting Thursday night, and preparations were made to begin searching for her replacement.

Board President Michael Livovich began by thanking Yelich for her service as Director. “It’s been a pleasure working with you, and we hate to lose you,” he said, then wished her luck in the future. Yelich for her part said it has been a pleasure serving the library staff and the Duneland community, and especially having the privilege of working with WPL’s large, dedicated volunteer force.

In the interim, retired Library Director Phil Baugher will be filling in for Yelich and aiding in the search for her replacement. He anticipates working 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. Baugher said that he’s glad to be helping in the search and joked, “Thank you for having some confidence in an unemployed has-been.”

Livovich said that the first steps will be to review the WPL’s succession policy and appoint a search committee that will update the job description for the position and develop a profile for the ideal candidate. The committee will also handle advertising the position and determining a timeline for the hiring process. Board members Abbe Trent and Kathryn Cochran volunteered. Baugher and Livovich will also serve on the committee.

Board Attorney Terry Hiestand recommended that the committee involve members of the community, so Baugher recommended Rick Hokanson, Claire Williams, and Celeste Bradford. Williams is a former circulation manager for WPL who has experience hiring, Hokanson is a former board member who made long-standing contributions, and Bradford is a current employee of the Library. Baugher and Bradford will be non-voting members.

The board also authorized Baugher to begin working on an advertisement for the position immediately, and approved a salary range of $65,000 to $75,000 per year. This will be an increase, as the committee will be looking for candidates with LC1 certification status, the highest level of education and experience outlined by the state, which requires a Master of Library Science degree and six to 10 years of experience. In addition to an interview, candidates will also be asked to respond to 13 short answer questions.

Librarian’s Report

Yelich announced a few staff changes. Julia Christensen resigned as Thomas Branch Librarian. Meghan Rogers is resigning as Clerk. Dashaunna Holloway moved from Substitute Clerk to Clerk. Replacing Holloway is Jason Finner as a Substitute Clerk. Conducting Finner’s normal duties as Clerk in the interim is Nathan Kroft. Tyler Thomas was hired as Clerk. Appointed by the Board of Trustees, former Library Director Phil Baugher officially began as Interim Director on Monday, Jan. 8.

Yelich also reported that WPL’s 2018 budget of $3,438,242 has received state approval. The tax levy on the budget will be $3,070,723 with WPL’s tax rate certified at $0.1922 per $100 of assessed valuation.

Meanwhile, Yelich reported, the Children’s Winter Reading program will make use of Muzzy, a newly purchased children’s foreign language learning platform. Staff will be trained in Muzzy this month.

Other Business

The board reviewed and re-adopted its bylaws for 2018 and also re-adopted WPL’s computer and acceptable use policy.

The board is recommending members Drew Rhed and Rondi Wightman for re-appointment. Rhed is a Westchester Township Trustee appointment and Wightman is a County Commissioners appointment.

The board will next meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, at the Hageman Branch.


Posted 1/12/2018




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