The South Dakota State Library will begin a nationwide search for a State Library director, Education Secretary Rick Melmer and State Librarian Dorothy Liegl announced today.
“We have spent the last year and a half developing and implementing a plan to provide 21st century library services to the people of South Dakota,” Liegl said. “It has been an exciting and challenging process, and I am proud of the progress we have made. Now, I am ready to concentrate on library development, which is my passion.”
Liegl will remain as state librarian while the nationwide search is conducted and will continue to work for the library after a director is appointed. “In the last few years, Dorothy has led the facility through a transition period that has resulted in a clearer focus and mission for the organization,” Melmer said. “Her extensive knowledge of library services will be very useful as the State Library moves ahead with its plan to strengthen and support local and school libraries. We are grateful for her 35 years of service and pleased that she is willing to help us achieve our goals.”
Dr. Eric Abrahamson, chair of the State Library Board, said: “The library’s new strategic plan recognizes that technology, the Internet, and the global information economy are reshaping the role that libraries play in the lives of South Dakotans. Restructuring the State Library and its services will continue to demand visionary leadership at the library, in the Department of Education, and throughout state government. We appreciate Dorothy’s willingness to begin the orderly transition from one era of leadership to the next.”
According to Melmer, the department will seek a director with strong managerial skills to ensure that the State Library remains a viable resource in the ever-changing Information Age. “A search committee will be created to interview potential candidates,” Melmer said. The committee will include State Library Board members as well as representatives from all of the State Library’s major customer groups including libraries, citizens and state government. The search committee will make recommendations to Melmer, who will make the final selection of a library director.