The Metro Nashville Public Library Board is unlikely to hire a full-time director until early 2012, the chair of the board’s search committee told The City Paper Monday.
“It’s probably going to be after the first of the year until we actually have candidates to interview,” board member Keith Simmons said, adding that it could be May before a new director is actually hired.
Donna Nicely, director of Nashville’s public library system since 1995, retired from the position effective Nov. 1. Tricia Bengel, the library’s emerging technologies administrator, has been serving as interim director.
The board hired a search-consulting firm in September to assist in a national search for a full-time replacement.
“They’ve been engaged in calling people across the country,” Simmons said. “We’re trying to cast our net as broadly as we can to get somebody really good to replace somebody really good.
“It just takes time,” he said. “We had hoped to have a decision made by Thanksgiving. I think the search is going well, but it just takes time to contact people and get the word out. We’re not going to try to push it.”
Simmons estimated five people have applied for the job so far, but said several more have inquired informally: “It’s really too early to put a number on any of that right now.”
Simmons said interviews with candidates could begin in “mid- or late-January.” The hiring process would unfold from there.