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Susan Currie Announces Retirement, Search for New Library Director Begins

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Susan Currie Announces Retirement, Search for New Library Director Begins

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Susan Currie, celebrated director of the Tompkins County Public Library, has announced plans to retire effective September 30.

During her eight-year tenure, Currie has helped establish TCPL as an award-winning model for peer libraries. Among her lengthy list of successes are a building-wide reorganization, which served to flatten the Library’s supervisory structure, providing increased leadership opportunities for staff members; the development of the County Library Budget Working Group and community engagement process, designed to identify sustainable funding for the Library; the successful 21st Century Library Campaign, which helped raise over $3.5 million in support of library programs and services; increased collaborations with local businesses and not-for-profit organizations; a reduction in barriers to access for families and young adults and strengthened relationships with UAW 2300, the labor union representing the library’s professional and support staff members. She is currently overseeing capital improvements and the construction of a 21st Century Learning Lab and teen center.

Noting her significant contributions to the Library, Bruce Ryan, president of TCPL’s Board of Trustees, said Currie’s retirement is bittersweet.

“Our public library and community are better for the tireless enthusiasm, dedication and advocacy Susan Currie has brought to the role of library director,” Ryan said. “While we are truly excited for Susan to begin the next phase of her journey, I know I speak for the entire Board and staff in saying that her exemplary leadership will be greatly missed.”

Currie, who previously served as director of resources and planning for the Cornell University Library’s Instruction, Research and Information Services unit and as associate director of university libraries for the State University of New York at Binghamton, echoed Ryan’s mixed emotions regarding the transition.

“Serving as director of the Tompkins County Public Library has truly been the greatest honor of my professional life,” Currie said. “Our community is so fortunate to have such an incredible public library, and to have been able to spend the past eight years working to preserve its rich history and ensure a promising future for this amazing institution has been so meaningful. There is no better way to end a 36-year career than knowing that I held, even for a little while, my dream job.”

A nationwide search for TCPL’s next director will begin February 20. Applicants will be vetted by New York State Civil Service standards and a search committee comprised of members of the Board of Trustees, Library staff, Suzanne Smith Jablonski, executive director of the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation, Sarah Glogowski, executive director of the Finger Lakes Library System, and Nina Scholtz, president of the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library. Finalists will make public presentations in August.

While her time at the Library is drawing to an end, Currie noted that her most important task as director is about to begin.

“I am committed to ensuring that the next director understands just what a special place our public library is,” Currie vowed. “I’m not going anywhere until I know that it is in the right hands.”

For more information, contact Carrie Wheeler-Carmenatty or (607) 275-1548.