Phoenixville Public Library looking for three new trustees

PHOENIXVILLE — The Phoenixville Public Library is seeking three community members to round out its board of trustees.

With two two-year terms up and one resignation of a trustee with a year left on their term, three candidates would fill out the nine-person board by the end of August.

The Phoenixville Area School Board will also use these appointments as a jump-off for a clearer method of electing trustees in the future after Pennsylvania recently changed its code regarding libraries.

“Unfortunately, the changes are not clearly written, thus, various interpretations may be possible,” said Phoenixville Area School Board Superintendent Alan Fegley in an email to The Mercury July 16. “The board and library are working cooperatively to bring clarity to the situation.”

In a meeting June 20 of the school board, Dave Ziev, who serves on both the school board and as a library trustee, outlined the latest likely solution.

“For a couple years now there’s been a debate about how we approach filling those positions,” Ziev said. “I’m happy to report we’ve found a really good away, as far as a process, to get this done.”

For the latest round of openings, candidates are asked to send in their resumes by August 2 to Fegley at 386 City Line Ave., Phoenixville, PA 19460 or Phoenixville Public Library Executive Director Lara Lorenzi at 183 Second Ave., Phoenixville, PA 19460.

They’re reachable via email at fegleya@pasd.k12.pa.us and llorenzi@ccls.org, respectively.

Applicants with prior experience at a non-profit are “preferred but not required,” according to a notice posted on the school district’s website.

“Board committee involvement is expected of the successful applicants,” the notice continued. “Monthly meeting attendance of approximately 2.5 hours per meeting is also expected.”

A letter addressed to Lorenzi and Fegley explaining the desire to join the board of trustees as well as “summarizing the applicants qualifications and experience” is necessary with resumes and references “optional but encouraged.”

Under the plan outlined by Ziev, the three new members would be elected to the trustees’ board in August. Every year after, new members will be elected in July. Two members are expected to be appointed in 2014 and another two in 2015.

In the future, Ziev said, a timeline will be followed for new trustees in the new process, beginning next February when what skills are desired in new trustees is decided.

“The reason we do that is we do realize the library will need very specific skill sets,” said Ziev.

In April, both the trustees and the school board will solicit for applications followed by the review and some interviews of candidates by the school board in May.

Recommendations for new trustees would be sent in to the school board by library’s current trustees at some point during May.

The school board would also hold a special meeting to interview the top candidates in May, then make nominations in June and vote on them.

By the end of July, the elected trustees would take their seats.

Since this year is a little different, both the Phoenixville Area School Board and the Phoenixville Public Library Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting August 22 to interview candidates.

The school board will vote on the three new members in September and those who are appointed will take over with the trustees in October, according to Ziev.

Follow Frank Otto on Twitter @fottojourno.

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