News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 5, 2012

Library board begins search for new director

Talks with search firm under way

Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — In a special meeting Tuesday, the Vigo County Public Library board of directors voted to hire a search firm to find a new library director.

Current Director Nancy Dowell announced earlier this year she was stepping down from the post she has occupied for the past 13 years.

The board voted to enter negotiations with library consulting firm, Bradbury Associates/Gossage Sager Associates, a national search firm. The expected cost of the search is $18,000 plus advertising costs and travel expenses when final candidates visit Terre Haute, board members said.

Dowell said the most important quality in a new director will be an ability to represent the library well in the community.

“It’s very important that the person be out in the community representing the library,” Dowell said.

Beyond that, a new director will need to be familiar with the new technologies that have changed the face of libraries dramatically over the past few decades, Dowell said.

“We’re not just about books any more,” she said.

The search for a new director will be a national search, mostly advertised on websites and in other media familiar to those in the library profession, board members said.

“We want somebody with the energy and knowledge to do the job,” said Hank Metzger, a member of the library board and chairman of the board’s search committee.

Speaking after the board meeting, Dowell said she will most miss representing the Vigo County Public Library in the local community. “That’s the most rewarding aspect of the job,” she said.

A new director is not expected to take over duties at the library until early next year. Dowell plans to remain in the director’s position until that time, she said.

According to its most recent budget, the library director’s job will pay approximately $90,000 annually.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or