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ITHACA, N.Y. — Tompkins County Public Library’s Director Search Committee, under the leadership of Bruce Ryan, president of the Library’s Board of Trustees, has announced Annette Birdsall and Lisa Carr as the final candidates in a six-month search for a successor to retiring director Susan Currie.
Birdsall, of Trumansburg, will address the public at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 22. The current director of the Ulysses Philomathic Library (UPL), Birdsall received her Master of Library Science from Syracuse University. Prior to accepting the director’s position at UPL in 2012, Birdsall held positions with the Finger Lakes Library System, TCPL, the South Central Regional Library Council and Cornell University Library.
Carr, of Auburn, has served as director of the Seymour Public Library in Auburn since 2012. She holds a master’s degree in Library Science from Simmons College, and has worked for Polaris Systems in Liverpool, the Edith B. Ford Library in Ovid and as a public librarian in Maine. She will address the public at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 24.
Both hour-long presentations will take place in the Library’s BorgWarner Community Room.
The national search for Currie’s replacement garnered applications from 30 library leaders who were subsequently vetted by the Library’s search committee of trustees, staff and representatives from the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation, the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library and the Finger Lakes Library System. Eighteen candidates from the original pool qualified to take a Civil Service examination administered by the Tompkins County Personnel Department.
Currie, who has led TCPL since 2009, will conclude her more than three-decades of library service in October. During her eight-year tenure, Currie has helped establish TCPL as an award-winning model for peer libraries.
Among her lengthy list of successes are a building-wide reorganization, which served to flatten the Library’s supervisory structure, providing increased leadership opportunities for staff members; advancing the progress of the County Library Budget Working Group and community engagement process, designed to identify sustainable funding for the Library; the successful 21st Century Library Campaign, which helped raise over $3.5 million in support of library programs and services; increased collaborations with local businesses and not-for-profit organizations; a reduction in barriers to access for families and young adults and strengthened relationships with UAW 2300, the labor union representing the library’s professional and support staff members.
She is currently overseeing capital improvements and the construction of a 21st Century Learning Lab and teen center.