The search is on for a new county library director.
At the Sept. 17 county meeting, commissioners were told Glenda Ondracek has submitted her resignation, effective Oct. 31. The Franklin County Library Advisory Board is advertising the opening with a starting salary of $33,000 to $35,000 depending on qualifications.
Denise Butler, representing the library board, has formed a three-person committee - Sondra Furbee, of Apalachicola, Christine Hinton of St. James and Kate Aguilar of St. George Island - to assess candidates for the position and make a recommendation to the county board.
“We want to maintain our level of professional services,” Butler said.
She said the nomination committee has representatives from all of the areas served by the county library, from the Friends of the Library and from among library volunteers.
Ondracek, of Cape San Blas, came to work as the director of the county library in January 2009. She holds a master’s degree in library, media and information studies from the University of South Florida and has more than 30 years of experience as a librarian. She worked as a librarian in the Florida public school system and at the University of Tampa. She was also law librarian at the Gulf Correctional Institution.
The qualifications of the new director could affect the library’s ability to qualify for grants and state funding. “Many grants do not consider you to be a library unless you are run by someone with a masters in library science,” said Apalachicola Municipal Librarian Caty Greene.
Greene, who does not hold a masters, said Ondracek has signed off on grant proposals for the Apalachicola library.
In an interview, Butler said that the county library qualifies for state funding as a part of the Wilderness Coast Library system. She said that if the Florida legislature should dissolve Wilderness Coast, or if Wilderness Coast lost their master’s employee, the county library would no longer receive funding if the director did not have a master’s.
“We don’t like to be dependent on someone else,” she said.
Butler said the job description in the advertisement for the director’s position allows applicants three years to finish their master’s in library science. “We would prefer to have someone who already has their degree, but we didn’t want to make the qualifications too restrictive,” she said.
She said that in addition to financial considerations, there are other important reasons to have a formally trained director. “It says something about the library system and where you want to go,” said Butler.
Ondracek said she plans to retire for the second time after leaving her current job.
“I had been retired a couple of years and when this position came available, I couldn’t resist,” she said. “This has been a wonderful opportunity and great challenge. I’m glad we were able to make the transition to the new building and that I was a part of that. I’m very satisfied with all of our accomplishments. We now offer more services and programs to our patrons both adults and children.”
Ondracek invites everyone to the grand opening of the new Eastpoint branch of the library on Oct. 22 from 4 to 6 p.m. She said there would be a ribbon cutting, speakers, light refreshments and an opportunity to tour the new facility.
The open house is part of the celebration of Friends of the Library Week.