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New Library Director Announced
C-T 06 12 17
The president of the Livingston County Library Board of Directors, Margaret Vance, announced Friday afternoon on behalf of the Library Board, along with staff and community committees, the  appointment of Candice Warren as the new director of the Livingston County Library. Warren will begin the position on July 1. She replaces Robin Westphal, who is moving to the position of director at Johnson City Public Library in Johnson City, Tennessee. Westphal served in the Director position at the Livingston County Library for 12 years. Warren has been serving as the Livingston County Library Head of Children's Services for four years. In that time, she and her staff have implemented several new initiatives, such as 1,000 Books before Kindergarten, Dial-a-Story, and partnering with many schools and daycares.

Library Director Westphal Resigns
Came to Chillicothe in 2005, heading to Tennessee
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY C-T 05/03/17

Photo CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY, C-T 05/03/17

Robin Westphal, who became director of the Livingston County Library in August 2005, has resigned and will move to Johnson City, Tennessee, where she has been named director of the Johnson City Public Library. Johnson City, in northeast Tennessee, has a population of more than 65,000 people. Westphal's last day at the Livingston County Library is Friday, June 9, and she will begin her duties in Johnson City on June 19. A farewell reception in her honor will be announced at a later date.

During Westphal's time as director in Livingston County, the library experienced major milestones. Between 2008-10, the building that houses the library underwent a massive renovation project that was supported by a voter-approved $3.4 million bond issue. In 2013, the library was gifted $8 million by former library director, Lillian DesMarias. In 2016, the building turned 100 years old. Westphal stated the DesMarias gift has a profound impact and "changed this library for eternity." Westphal has been at the forefront of introducing new services to reach community members and has devoted time and resources for staff development. Unconventional approaches to opportunities gave birth to enhanced awareness of the library.

Westphal and her family came to Livingston County from Olathe, Kansas, where she was adult services manager of the library. She knew before accepting the position that one of the first issues the Library Board would address would be to determine the best building project: either build a new facility or renovate the aging existing facility. "For me, it was obvious to stay where we were," she said. "We had a great location and a beautiful building." Another priority was to make sure the library "was at all of the tables of the community organizations." "Whatever the Chamber had going on, the library needed to be involved," she said. "Whatever the goals were of the school, we needed to find out how we could help. It was important for me to show the community organizations how the library could help them reach their goals." The library is involved in the community, visiting nursing homes and preschools and providing electronic resources. "The personal contacts we have made have increased," Westphal said."My hope is that the library will continue to build partnerships and have a strong connection with the community."

In addition to finding someone who meets the educational requirements and experience for the position, the Library Board is looking for someone who will be involved in the community. During her time in Chillicothe, Westphal was active in the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Arts Council Board, and the YMCA Board of Directors. She soon will resign from her third term on the Chillicothe R-2 Board of Education, where she previously had served as board president.

One of her last acts as library director was to write the job description for the next library director. The position is being advertised on the Missouri Library Association website and through other locations. Westphal stated that the Livingston County Library is "a good sell" and that she doesn't anticipate the board having difficulties in securing a new director. "We can offer programming funds many libraries cannot," she stated, thanks to the DesMarias gift. The Library Board is accepting applications now through May 15. The applicants will be narrowed down to a short list and a committee will be formed to interview the finalists.

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