JAMESTOWN – The James Prendergast Library will soon have its own executive director. Yesterday the Prendergast Library Association (JPLA) Board of Directors voted on splitting the Executive Director Position between the JPLA and the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System (CCLS). The vote came after the CCLS board had already made the decision last week to split the position.
Prendergast Library Board President Tom Price says that for nearly 50 years, the CCLS and JPLA shared the executive director position – with the library contracting with CCLS to use the executive director in-house. However, he says a couple of issues have lead to the CCLS Board deciding it was time to no longer have the system executive director also serving the JPLA.
“The primary reason for what we decided on is coming from the impetus from the member libraries wanting to have their own search committee and approve someone that is going to be able to devote 100 percent of their time to their operation. So that’s the primary reason, but the other is to clarify different roles between the system and the JPLA,” Price told WRFA following Thursday’s meeting.
Price said that the change shouldn’t impact services locally at the Prendergast, nor should it have an adverse financial impact on the library. He also said that it’s unlikely the situation with the previous embattled executive director – Linda Mielke – played much of a role in the system’s decision. The CCLS board terminated its contract with Mielke in September 2012, less than a year after being hired.
Right now, former assistant director Tina Scott is serving as acting executive director. Price says she will continue in that capacity for both the JPLS and the CCLS until both can develop a transition plan and go through the proper hiring process.