A manager of a branch of the Chicago Public Library will be the first of three finalists interviewed for the director position at the Lawrence Public Library.
Leaders of the Lawrence Public Library announced Monday that Sarah Tansley, the manager of Chicago’s Humboldt Park Branch Library, will be in Lawrence this week. Tansley will participate in a public presentation at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Lawrence City Hall.
The session will be the first of three scheduled sessions with the finalists for the library’s top administrative position. The other public sessions are set for Feb. 21 and Feb. 28.
The names of the other two finalists will be announced shortly before those events, said Mike Wildgen, the interim director of the library.
Tansley, according to her résumé, has been a branch manager in the Chicago Public Library system since 2006. She received an undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University in 1998 and has a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Dominican University in River Forest, Ill., and a Master’s in Public Service/Administration from DePaul University.
Deborah Thompson, chairwoman of the city’s library board, said the board hopes to make an offer to a candidate by early March and have a new director in place by early April. That would allow the new leader to begin work before construction on a $19 million expansion of the library begins this summer.
Thompson said the finalists will meet with several groups, including library staff members, the library’s foundation, city officials and other stakeholders. At the three public sessions, the finalists will be asked to speak on what they think the future holds for libraries.
“We’re providing them a really broad topic, and they can choose to elaborate on that,” Thompson said. “We think we have three great candidates, but they all will bring something a little different to the table.”
The library board received 30 applications from across the country to replace former director Bruce Flanders, who retired and then shortly thereafter took a job at MidAmerica Nazarene University. Wildgen confirmed that none of the finalists is local.