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Search continues for new KCLS director

The King County Library System continues in its search for a new director.

The search committee meets next week to select the candidates it will invite for interviews, which will take place mid-September. The organization received 10 applications for the position.

“In late March and early April, KCLS hosted staff and public meetings and also conducted an online survey to gather input on desired characteristics for the next director,” Maria Hatcher, communications director, wrote in an email.

About 125 people attended the meetings and another 837 people participated in the online survey, according to Hatcher.

The ideal candidate is to be a communicator, community builder, visionary leader and an administrator. KCLS serves a population service area of 1.3 million and has an operating budget of $109 million. It includes a staff of 780 full-time employees.

There are 48 community libraries and 12 Library2Go vehicles in the system.

The previous director, Bill Ptacek, had a salary of $165,471 and Hatcher said KCLS will offer a competitive salary commensurate with the qualifications of the selected candidate.

Ptacek served as director of KCLS since 1989 and resigned last year to take over as CEO of the Calgary Public Library system in Alberta, Canada.

“In October, the search committee will recommend its top-tier candidates to the Board of Trustees for the final interview phase,” said Hatcher. “The final phase will include opportunities for staff, key stakeholders and the public to learn about the candidates prior to final selection by the Board.”

In Renton, three KCLS projects continue to take shape. The downtown Renton library is still under construction, with no delays. The project is one month into a year-long construction schedule. There is no firm date on the opening.

The construction bid for the Highlands Library has been awarded to contractor CE&C,  the same contractor doing the downtown location. That contract is being developed.

The Fairwood Library in unincorporated King County is also still under construction, with an opening anticipated for Nov. 1.

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