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Children’s librarian post draws 15 candidates so far

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The Ogdensburg Public Library so far has 15 people applying for its children’s librarian position.

City Clerk and Civil Service Commission Secretary Kathleen A. Bouchard said Friday that the deadline to receive the take-home Civil Service questionnaire is March 15. After that, the city’s Civil Service Commission will review the documents and identify the top three contestants.

Library Director Wayne L. Miller will make the final selection. He said Friday that he wants a new children’s librarian by spring, by which time more young people are expected at the library because of the return of popular youth activities like the summer reading program.

“I’m making it a top priority just as soon as I get the list,” he said.

The children’s librarian position has been vacant since Bonnie Wright retired in January 2011. It was left vacant until last year because of budget cutbacks at the library that made it necessary to transfer funds traditionally dedicated for the position to depleted line items like books and utilities.

There were two finalists for the job last fall until one of them withdrew. Instead of offering he position to the remaining candidate, Mr. Miller instead chose to call for another Civil Service recruitment to find another pool of top three candidates.

Meanwhile, in the absence of a full-time children’s librarian, the library has been making do with staff, volunteers, supporters from the Friends of the Ogdensburg Public Library and, on occasion, Mrs. Wright.

Not for much longer, Mr. Miller hopes.

“It’s a key position,” he said.

The children’s librarian salary is listed in the 2013 city budget at $34,000 annually.

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