SALAMANCA — The Salamanca Common Council is expecting to appoint a new manager for the Salamanca Public Library during its regular Wednesday meeting.
The library board at the beginning of March recommended Jennifer Stickles, a program director of the Olean Public Library, to fill the role of former library manager Kirsten Woodin, who left the position in January to take a new job in a different part of the state.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Timothy Baird, Salamanca Library Board president. “She’s well-qualified, she’s more or less local and I’m happy we got a candidate of her quality.”
The library board began accepting applications for a new manager in January and spent February interviewing candidates before making a recommendation at its March 1 board meeting.
Baird said the entire two-month process went well, but it was stressful.
“We didn’t know, as a board, what we were going to get as far as candidates, but we got a good one,” he said. “All of the people we interviewed were qualified and good candidates, but Jennifer really stood out.”
Stickles, who received her master’s degree in library science from Clarion (Pa.) University, was chosen from 10 applicants, Baird said. The library board interviewed four candidates during February before making the final decision.
Common Council member Michael Lonto, R-Ward 3, is the non-voting liaison on the library board for the council. He said he also supports the library board’s choice.
“The search committee for that did such a wonderful job,” he said. “I have not met her, but I trust the board. They’re good, honest people and they want nothing but the best for our library.”
Stickles has run and introduced several new programs during her time at the Olean Public Library, such as their S.T.E.A.M. Club (science, technology, engineering, art and math) and the Rainbow Alliance, a community group which supports LGBTQ teens.
She also organized Olean’s Drag Queen Kids Party reading event in June 2018, for which the library was awarded the 2018 Outstanding Library Program of the Year — an award never before presented to a Cattaraugus County library — from the Western New York Library Resources Council.
Lonto said Stickles is very well qualified and “what we need.”
Because Stickles works at the Olean library, Baird said he believes there shouldn’t be any issues with Civil Service if she transitions to Salamanca.
If appointed, one of the stipulations of Stickles accepting the position would be moving into the city within the next six months, something she expressed having no issue with, according to Baird.
“She wants to come here to live and work here,” Lonto said. “I’m excited and I think she’s going to be a wonderful addition to our library.”
The Common Council is expected to appoint Stickles at its Wednesday meeting at 7 p.m., but a small gathering for library employees and board members to meet Stickles is scheduled for earlier that day.
“As many staff as possible and the board will be there, and we’ve invited the mayor,” Baird said. “And then we’re going with Jennifer to the pre-council meeting at 6:30 Wednesday just to have them meet her.”
Although nothing has been scheduled yet, Baird said the library board is working on a potential open house at the library in the coming months for the community to meet Stickles and see some of the new renovations.
Woodin began her time as library manager in the fall of 2014 and was a driving force behind the upgrades and renovations at the library, both of the building and the catalogue of materials.
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