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Library closes in on South Boston hire

SoVaNow.com / July 12, 2018
Library board members will spend much of today interviewing the four finalists who have applied for the branch manager’s job at the South Boston Public Library.

The position has been vacant the past several months, ever since Robert Rosenthal left to take over as library director at the Boydton Library.

Speaking at the regular monthly meeting of the library board on Tuesday, library director Jay Stephens said that a committee has narrowed the list of names from six candidates to four. A decision on which of the four will be named to the post could come possibly as early as next week. Interviews will take place today, July 12.

The library board will meet in a called session Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., at which time the directors are expected to decide on which of the four candidates should be hired to fill the post.

Two men and two women will be interviewed today for the job, which will pay a salary of between $32,000 to $36,000 annually. The prospects come from different areas of the county, with the only non-resident candidate living in North Carolina.

According to Stephens, only one has past experience in library work; three of the four have earned their master degrees in library science. The fourth candidate is almost finished with work on his master’s degree.

In other business Tuesday, Stephens advised directors that total circulation in both libraries had declined slightly with the South Boston Library showing a 2.82 percent drop while circulation in the Halifax Library was down 5.39 percent.

“But in talking with library directors across the state they all tell me the same thing — that circulation is down all around,” Stephens said. However, he noted that program attendance in both libraries is up — 35.80 percent in Halifax and up 32.05 percent in South Boston over the past year.

Stephens also reported that the two libraries had income of $479,987 for the prior year. Halifax County awards the library $195,000 annually while the Town of South Boston gives $81,300 and the Town of Halifax adds another $12,410.

Monetary gifts contribute $19,799 while the library generates another $35,439,82 in fines, fees, copies, faxes, etc. The State of Virginia gives the library $120,896 which is an increase of some $3,700 over last year’s funding.

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