During their monthly meeting on Tuesday , March 26, the Board of Directors of the Fort Myers Beach Library unanimously voted to offer Interim Library Director Cletus Poser the job on a permanent basis. The board also indicated that they wanted him to establish a job description and position of an Assistant Director. The board plans to review an Assistant Director job description next month.
A good portion of the agenda for the almost two-hour meeting dealt with security issues. Jan Fleming indicated that Peggy Lince of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) would meet with Poser and her next week for a security review of the library facility. She will bring any suggestions back to the board next month.
Rick Sebastian provided board members with a Draft Trespass Policy that complies with LCSO guidelines and asked for their input at a future meeting. In the draft policy, any appeal is heard by a Trespass Hearing Committee made up of the Library Director, one supervisory and one non-supervisory library employee (neither of whom were involved in the original trespass event.)
After meeting with several beach churches, Sebastian said a common thread is that the churches clearly communicate their rules or guidelines. He shared a sign used at Lee County libraries that outline guidelines and suggested the Beach Library consider a similar sign. Staff training on library rules and how to handle violations and avoid confrontations was another suggestion Sebastian shared, for the safety of all involved.
Honoring Dr. Leroy
Fleming reported on a possible garden area to honor Dr. Leroy Hommerding, reminding the board how devoted he was to the Florida native landscaping that surrounds the library. “I met with John Sibley of All Native Garden Center and Paula Smith, a Library Friends Board member and Garden Club member about a garden plan. John suggested a butterfly garden as a memorial garden. The Library Friends plan to do this with donations made in his memory.”
The Fort Myers Beach Fire Department has offered to provide library staff and volunteer training in CPR, AED and fire extinguishers, Fleming reported. After discussion, the board approved the purchase of an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) and training of staff and volunteers.
Before the Board’s discussion of a New Director, Board Chair Sallie Seabury asked Interim Director Cletus Poser and library staff member Alice Mack to leave the room. She then said Poser had told her he would be willing to permanently assume the position of Library Director, or would be amenable to a 12 month probationary period, if that were the board’s desire. Seabury said, “Cletus has had a number of staff approach him about their desire to hire a new director from within the library.”
Last month the board was informed that they had 20 applications for the Library Director position and were scheduled to determine interview questions at their March meeting. Poser had previously indicated that he was not interested in the director position.
During discussion several board members indicated that they were vacillating between choosing an outside candidate or hiring someone from within the library staff. Some suggested looking at the top 3 outside applicants, many of whom had a Masters Degree in Library Science, and the inside applicants.
Seabury summarized, “Staff and volunteers have come to me. They are all supportive of the status quo at this particular time. If Leroy had had a heart attack or been in an auto accident, it would be different. But everyone is still horror-struck. I think we need stability, continuity and predictability.”
Board Attorney Anne Dalton suggested that the board confirm that Poser has a resume or CV on file.
Ed Scott than made a motion to hire Cletus Poser as Library Director and it was passed unanimously.
Discussion then turned to the board’s desire that an assistant or associate Library Director be named and Dalton said that before an Assistant Director could be hired, the board would need to approve the job description. Poser will create one and bring it to the board for approval.
During the Director’s Report, Poser reported that the roof had been repaired. He said artist Mike Masin had donated a photo in memory of Dr. Hommerding. A copy of comments from Dr. Hommerding’s memorial book in the library foyer were handed out.
The Friends of the Library report by Fleming showed that the final book sale of the season had raised over $2,200. Total donations in honor of Hommerding are at $3,755. She encouraged everyone to attend Drag Queen Bingo at the Nauti Parrot Dock Bar on Tuesdays in April as the Library Friends are the beneficiary of Tuesday night bingo in April.