Missouri River Regional Library board names new director

Missouri River Regional Library Director Claudia Schoonover.

Missouri River Regional Library Director Claudia Schoonover. Photo by Kris Wilson.

Claudia Schoonover is the new director of the Missouri River Regional Library.

A search committee recommended Schoonover as the new director and the MRRL trustees approved her Tuesday evening. She has been with the library for 18 years and served as the interim director twice; once in 2010 and for the past 4½ months.

“I am really honored to be chosen,” Schoonover said. “I am just very excited and I am just so fortunate to be given this opportunity. I love this library.”

She was earning $67,000 as interim director. The standard pay grade for director is $80,000, but Schoonover’s salary still is being negotiated, said Elizabeth Beach, MRRL’s human resources director.

Schoonover also has served as the assistant director of public services since January 2012. That position has required her to manage all public services including the children’s and adult’s collection department, the reference desk, the branch in Osage and the collection development budget for the whole library. The collection development budget is for collecting new materials for the library such as books, DVDs or audio books.

“I still plan to be very active with regard to what is going on with public services,” Schoonover said. “I still plan to work the desk. I will still be involved with Friday night films and work weekends. I think it is very important to do those things.”

Abbey Rimel, board president, said Schoonover was the top candidate because of her relationship building abilities, approach to problem solving, and ability to bring people together to work effectively as a team.

“The Board is confident that Claudia will do an excellent job,” Rimel said in a release. “She is the right person to bring us together in the common goal of making the library a vibrant organization that attracts and stimulates a thriving community of lifelong learners.”

In a week or two, Schoonover plans to move into the director’s office and she is not sure about the process of replacing her as the assistant director of public services, she said. She also said she is contemplating creating a new position that is mainly concerned with the collection of new materials.

“I feel like the library hasn’t been promoting itself like we should,” she said when asked about her goals as the new director. “I definitely want to change that … One of the things I want to do is build awareness of what we have to offer. I am a people person, I love working with the public. I am going to be doing that and I want to reach out to this community and form partnerships.”

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