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Our View: Answers needed on Geneva library leadership

Published: Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

As the Geneva Public Library District enters a period that could shape its future, strong leadership and clear communication will be necessary. The library’s board faces decisions that must be made soon to ensure that.

It’s important that the board’s leaders deliver on a plan that there will be an announcement soon concerning management. Director Matt Teske recently took seven weeks of board-approved leave, and board members recently agreed to hire a temporary management consultant as the director’s adviser.

Esther Steel, the library board’s president, said a statement will be made Monday that will “make things clear for everyone.” That’s necessary. There is some division on the board, as Trustee Susan Shivers voted against hiring the adviser, who will be paid $60 an hour for 15 hours a week. Teske earns $110,237 a year. The adviser, Marilyn Boria, will work as an independent contractor, and trustees said the district will not have to pay her benefits or insurance.

The uncertainty comes during a period in which the library’s leaders could be determining options for the future. In 2013, the library board decided not to proceed with the purchase of the Cetron property at 7 Richard St. in Geneva. But a new building for the library remains a topic of discussion. Leaders have talked about the need for increased space, as well as better parking options.

If options are being considered, officials must be ready to act when necessary.

What duties will the adviser perform? How long will she be in the role? Who will help determine the library’s future home? The library district’s residents will want answers, and they deserve them. It’s their library.

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