Library Director Search Firm Sets Deadlines
A library director does more than order books, supervise staff, and balance a budget, the husband-wife team of Bradbury Associates said Monday.
"We're not just selling your library, but your community," Dan Bradbury told the board of trustees of the Natrona County Public Library.
In July, the board hired Dan and Jobeth Bradbury to conduct a nationwide search for the library's new director, who will replace Bill Nelson, who is retiring this month.
The Bradburys said the position will be attractive for candidates who want a challenge because of the concerns about building safety and the need to find more space.
They also said recent trends for library management include an ability to raise money and to promote the library in the community.
The Bradburys have had a lot of experience in that assessment.
Their Kansas City, Mo.-based firm has conducted searches for library directors in small towns to Denver and Houston. Natrona County, with a population of about 80,000 falls in the middle of the libraries for which they have conducted searches.
They charge a flat fee of $28,000, Jobeth said. This will not cost the library any extra money, because it will come from the budget that would have paid the director, board Chairman Hampton O'Neill said last month.
Both Bradburys have extensive experience in library management. He was the director of the public library in Kansas City for 19 years before retiring in 2003 and starting the search firm.
Mondayt, they laid out the timetable for the recruitment process, starting with today's meeting with the board and visiting with people in the community today and Tuesday.
Next week, they will have crafted a draft of the advertisement that will be used in the nationwide search, submit it to the board, and have a final draft by Sept. 1. From Sept. 2 to Oct 25, they will post advertisements and receive cover letters and resumes, and answer questions tailored to the needs of Natrona County.
They also will talk to officials with the state library board and librarians in Wyoming, and then talk to librarians in the region.
The Bradburys expect to receive about 70 or 80 applications by the Oct. 25 deadline, and will offer these results to the board by Oct.26.
They intend to meet with the board again on Nov. 2 to discuss the applicants, and narrow the list to about eight or nine semifinalists by Nov. 9. All candidates will be interviewed on Skype, even those who are local or who would offer to meet in person, Dan said. That ensures fairness for all candidates, he said.
In the meantime, the Bradburys will have conducted background investigations on the candidate's court records and other public documents. County Attorney Heather Duncan-Malone said the director, like other county employees, will be required to undergo a drug test.
The three or four finalists will come to Casper on Nov. 23-24 for the final interviews and possibly a community forum.
O'Neill said he hopes the new director will be in place in January.