To find its next director, Spokane Public Library will use the company that lured away the last one.
Library board members Wednesday approved a contract to use Gossage Regan Associates, a New York City firm.
Last year, that company helped public library officials in Buffalo, N.Y., recruit and hire Dan Walters, the former Spokane library director.
During Wednesday’s meeting, board member Ron Miller supported using a “a headhunter” service, adding: “You have to have quality people out there to look for quality people.”
Board member Ned Barnes quickly corrected him. “It’s an executive search service.”
The service is expected to produce several top candidates for the job, Barnes and other directors agreed.
Board members hope to fill the director’s job by September.
The search fee isn’t cheap: Gossage Regan will get one-fourth of the new director’s first-year salary. The expected range is $68,300-$85,100 per year.
Said Miller, chairman of the search committee: “This (cost) is something the public cares strongly about, so we want to make sure they know we have a good reason to do this.”
Gossage Regan was one of six firms who bid for the contract.
That firm should be effective because it surveys the community before contacting candidates, Miller said.
“That helps them explain the context of the job” and that gives jobseekers a clearer idea of what to expect, Miller said.
The director is the administrative agent for the city’s five library branches - which will grow to six next year when a northwest neighborhood library will be built.
After adding a number of new branches and introducing automated services, the library has had to shrink its operating budget because of city money problems.
This year’s city library budget is $6.55 million, compared to about $6.8 million last year.