MEQUON - After about 12 years, Frank L. Weyenberg Library Director Linda Bendix is retiring May 9.
"Make use of what you need of me until then," she told the library board during its Feb. 8 meeting.
While state statutes require the library board select a director, they don't specify how it's done, Bendix said.
Mimi Rosing, the board secretary, said the process will take a few months with someone hired likely in June or July.
"We want to move this along to keep the library up and running," Rosing said.
With that in mind, the library board created a Director Search Committee to help find a new director. To assist with the search, the library was reviewing two recruiting firms — John Keister and Associates, LLC of Illinois and Bradbury Miller Associates of Missouri.
At a Feb. 13 meeting, the Director Search Committee chose John Keister and Associates, though it was discussed that the Bradbury Miller Associates proposal was more complete. The approval is based on the condition that Kiester's advertising costs won't exceed $5,000 – the actual cost wasn't mentioned in the proposal.
The library board seemed to be leaning toward choosing Keister at its meeting with board member and Alderman John Hawkins asking if the board was pleased with Keister in the past, to which most members nodded an affirmative.
Both firms submitted proposals which Board President Lisa Nowakowski said are "fairly similar" with costs ranging from about $18,000 to $20,000.
In their proposals, both companies highlighted their desire to help the library find the right candidate. Bradbury Miller Associates said they would get the posting on 55-plus websites while John Keister and Associates highlighted its experience with more than 300 executive-level searches completed. Additionally, the latter assisted the library when Bendix was hired.
The main reasons the committee discussed leading to the decision centered around Keister's experience with the library already, their location in northern Illinois – which the committee thought would also lead to them knowing the area better – and membership in the Wisconsin Library Association.
It was mentioned that while Bradbury Miller Associates had references listed from multiple states, none came from Wisconsin.
Based on discussions during the board meeting, the chosen firm and the committee will work on narrowing the candidate pool to a handful of applicants. At that time, the board will get involved in the final selection process.
The idea of an interim library director or co-directors was brought up if the hiring process took longer than expected, but it was decided to look into that later, possibly in March or April, if needed.
The library's salary range chart for 2017-18 lists a library director making between $74,984 and $102,960 per year. The committee is still reviewing the job description.
Bendix said she plans to relocate out of the area following her retirement.