Community Members Will be Part of Search for the Next Director of the Watertown Library

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Watertown Free Public Library The Watertown Free Public Library.

The Watertown Library will be looking for a new leader with longtime Library Director Leone Cole announcing her retirement.

Cole has made her mark on the Watertown Free Public Library, said Chair Leanne Hammonds.

“Leone Cole is retiring after 27 years as library director,” Hammonds said. “She has done incredible work at WFPL and she will certainly be missed!”

The Trustees have started the search for the new library director by hiring Community Paradigm to help us with the search process. This is the same group helping to conduct Watertown’s City Manager search.  

Over the next couple weeks, they will survey library staff and speak with Ms. Cole, the library department heads and the Trustees, about the library director role and what qualities we are looking for in a new director,” Hammonds said. “They also plan to post a community survey to obtain feedback from residents and library patrons.” 

Community Paradigm will use the information collected to create a job posting and a plan for advertising the position, Hammonds added.

“We hope to post the position in February,” Hammonds said. “Preliminary interviews would be in March, with finalists selected and finalist interviews hopefully in April.”

Community members will also help with the selection of the candidates as part of the screening committee. The committee will be selected by the Board of Trustees to review applications and conduct preliminary reviews.

“We have not yet decided the exact makeup of the screening committee, but it will include Trustees, library staff and community members,” Hammonds said. “The screening committee will recommend finalists for the Board of Trustees to interview.”

The search committee will be discussed at the Trustees’ next meeting on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m.

“We will be seeking applications from the community to serve on the screening committee early next month (February) and the work of the committee will take place during late February and March,” Hammonds said.

Tribute to Retiring Director

While a retirement party has not been possible due to the surge in cases of COVID-19, the Trustees have started a campaign to raise money to help cover the cost of the library’s new bookmobile to honor Cole.

“The library received a large donation last year that we are using to fund a bookmobile.  The Trustees are seeking donations to cover the remainder of the cost,” Hammonds said. “This 21st century bookmobile is Leone’s latest visionary plan and it will bring library resources, including digital resources, out to the community.” 

Donations can be made online by clicking here, or via cash or check. Checks should be made out to Watertown Free Public Library. Please note that it is for the bookmobile. Donations can be mailed to Natasha Ruggeri-Koret, Administrative Assistant, WFPL, 123 Main Street Watertown, MA 02472 or dropped off at the Circulation Desk addressed to Natasha. All donations are tax deductible.  

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