Search for new library director underway

The Carmel Clay Public Library is searching for a new director, and some think it could be a coveted position.

Jim Hehner, vice president of the Carmel Clay Public Library Board of Trustees, said that’s because the area library is in great shape, both financially and in its relationship with the community, according to a June 2016 strategic plan provided at the Aug. 1 Carmel City Council meeting.

Carolyn Goolsby left as director on May 17. She was in the position less than a year, coming from Canada to replace longtime library director Wendy Phillips, who retired in the summer of 2015. Assistant Director Nancy Newport served as interim director when Phillips left and is serving in that role again.

“We’re right smack dab in the middle of our national search for a new library director,  and we’re getting resumes across the country from highly qualified individuals,” Hehner told the Carmel City Council  Aug 1. “In fact, we’re meeting soon to go over our resumes, and we think it’s one of the best jobs out there.”

Hehner said they hope to have a permanent director in place sometime in the fall.

In the meantime, Hehner spoke to the Council to give a report on the state of the library and said things are growing. He said more than 2 million items were checked out in the past year. There’s also a reciprocal borrowing program that allows someone with a library card at any Hamilton County library to check out a book from the Carmel Clay library. More than 300,000 items were checked out from the Carmel Clay library through this program. That makes up 72 percent of the reciprocal items in the countywide program.

Hehner said the building itself is in great shape and not in need of any major repairs.

The mobile library has become a popular feature in Carmel, having lent out more than 4,200 items, Hehner said.

There were more than 1,700 programs at the library in the past year, Hehner said, with 65,000 visitors, 48,000 of which were children.

The Friends of the Library have contributed more than $74,000 to the library in the past year, most of it through book sales. The Carmel Clay Library Foundation has donated about $112,000.

Some of the goals laid out in the January to June 2016 strategic plan include connecting with the business community through workshops and resource fairs; sharing Indiana’s heritage through bicentennial-themed events; authors and guest speakers; and striving for a greener Carmel through programing to stimulate interest in environmental issues.

Bicentennial Events at the Carmel Clay Public Library

  • Oct. 12 — A Strange True Story, 7 p.m. in the Program Room. David Thomas Murphy, a professor of history at Anderson University, explores a shocking Indiana event, noted with a marker in Pendleton that reads, “Three White Men Were Hung Here In 1825 For Killing Indians.”
  • Oct. 20 — The Darker Times of Carmel, 7 p.m. in the Program Room. Presenter Andy Wright talks about bank robberies, train wrecks, disasters and more.
  • Nov. 3 — History Along the White River, 7 p.m. in the Program Room. Hamilton County historian David Heighway speaks about the White River.
  • Dec. 11 — Happy Birthday Indiana Bash from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Program Room. There will be cake, ice cream, music and more.

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