A library manager in Arizona will be the new leader of the Spokane Public Library.
The library’s Board of Trustees voted 5-0 on Tuesday to offer Andrew Chanse the director position. He is the innovations and strategies administrator of the Maricopa County Library District in Arizona.
Chanse, 36, accepted the job. He said he had never been to Spokane until he arrived for interviews, though he “researched the heck out of it.” He plans to live within city limits.
“Spokane to me seems like an ideal community for me and my family,” said Chanse, who is married and has four children.
The Maricopa County Library District serves suburban and rural areas around Phoenix.
Chanse will replace Pat Partovi, who is retiring in May and has led the library since 2005.
Thirteen people applied for the job. Four were picked as finalists, and one of those dropped out. The final three candidates were interviewed by the board and public late last month.
Trustee Janice Marich said the board was impressed with Chanse’s communication style and ideas for improving access to the library system. She said based on evaluation forms, Chanse also appeared to be the top choice of members of the public and library interests who met the finalists at candidate forums.
“I think he’s going to take us to the next level,” she said.
A board subcommittee will draft an employment agreement to set his salary and make the hiring official later this month, said Monica Fox, the library’s human resources manager.
Chanse, who grew up in Massena, N.Y., earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature at Arizona State University and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Arizona. He has held several positions at the Maricopa district since he was hired in 2005.
He said his first goal is to listen and learn so he can make informed choices.
“I really have to immerse myself in that community and figure out what is going to be best for library services there,” Chanse said. “More than anything I’m just really excited for the opportunity to do that and be part of that community.”
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