Jan 14, 2009 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
The first item on the Jan. 14 meeting agenda of the Onondaga County Public Library Board of Directors is to approve the appointment of Elizabeth Dailey as the new director of the library system.
Dailey presently works as director of Liverpool Public Library. She had previously worked at OCPL for nearly two decades. She replaces Director Joyce Latham who resigned last summer to accept a teaching position out of state. Interim directors were Kate McCaffrey and Liz Loftus.
“The fact that I had worked there for 17 years made the job seem more possible for me,” Dailey said Monday. “I know so many of the people there and the good work that they do.”
Dailey worked for OCPL as branch head at White, Petit and Betts branches, briefly served as community services consultant and in 1997 and ’98 she oversaw community programming and development at the Central Library downtown. In 1998 she accepted a position as administrator for public services at Liverpool before being promoted to director in 2002.
She’s expected to begin her new job on Feb. 9.
One of Dailey’s strengths is her talent for grant-writing. She oversaw a $445,000 capital construction project completed in 2007 at Liverpool, for which she secured nearly $200,000 in grants.
“Given the economic situation we now face, said OCPL Board President Jane Suddaby, “that (grant-writing) expertise could be very helpful.”
The trustees liked the fact that Dailey had worked for OCPL in the past, Suddaby said.
“We wanted someone who could hit the ground running,” the board president said, “and she brought that to the table. She’s a veteran librarian. She has a history at OCPL, and she did a tremendous job growing Liverpool Public Library, especially its technology.”
A native of Governeur, Dailey earned her undergraduate degree in literature from SUNY Binghamton before securing her Master’s of Library Service at Rutgers University.
The biggest challenge she faces at OCPL, Dailey said, will be maintaining services despite significant state budget cutbacks.
“The governor recommended an 18 percent cut for libraries this year,” she noted. “Hopefully, the Legislature will not make quite so steep a cut, but meanwhile we have to do more to meet the needs of all county residents even while tightening the budget.”
The library system includes the Robert Kinchen Central Library at Galleries of Syracuse, eight branches and two satellites, one each at the city’s Northeast and Southwest community centers. OCPL’s annual budget is about $15 million, and it serves more than 200,000 patrons while circulating more than 1.5 million items. Its staff numbers nearly 150.
Dailey will earn about $90,000 annually.
“The library system “is a huge operation,” Suddaby said. “There’s the Central Library in the Galleries, plus the city branches and suburban libraries, so it’s tremendously diverse ranging from urban to rural. It’s important to recognize the individual neighborhoods and the cultures in each neighborhood. I mean some of our library’s are quiet and some are rockin’ and rollin,’ real high energy with lots of activity.”