Library board whittles candidate list down to two

Published 4:31 pm Monday, February 6, 2023

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The makeup of the Clark County Public Library Board of Trustees will soon change.

After a meeting, Thursday night, Carlye Thacker and Kim Elkins are the names under consideration pending the resignation of Dawn Alvarado.

“[At] the next meeting, we will [formally] recommend Carlye Thacker and Kim Elkins as our suggestions,” said Board of Trustees Vice President Tim Janes.

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At Thursday’s meeting, Janes and treasurer Michael Wattenberger were the only two board members present.

Scott Hisle, Alvarado, and Doug Christopher were absent.

The meeting began with a public comment section, during which different speakers addressed the board.

One speaker, Mary T. Yeiser has spoken on different occasions.

She urged the board to look into considering the entire number of potential candidates that have applied.

“I think it’s great that we’ve got that many people that are interested in our library [and] our community,”” she said. “Seventy-five to eighty-five % of the people on that list are more progressive than you are…I would just ask you to take that into consideration because the library is a community library.”

While Yeiser and another speaker were in person, others were welcomed via Zoom.

Once the public comment session ended, those present began the process of suggesting two nominees.

Janes first spoke of the value of the overall pool of interested individuals.

“In my opinion, every single one is a quality candidate,” he said. “They all have things to recommend them to service.”

One board member took a meticulous approach.

“I went through each and every application. I gave each and every applicant about the same amount of time,” Wattenberger said. “Everyone that applied had something to offer. I thought there were twenty-one. Twenty were female [and] one was male.”

Thacker, who has a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, was one of the first suggestions.

“I remember her application because she had a lot of interest in homeschooling, and she talked about curriculums and stuff like that,” Wattenberger said.

Janes added that this made her part of a big segment within the community that needs attention.

As mentioned, the second suggestion was Kim Elkins.

“She has some experience working with the library as a librarian in the past,” Janes said.

With the recommendations made, the board of trustees still has the final say in whether to pass each potential candidate.

Not everyone was in agreement with the board’s recommendation.

“I’m disappointed,” Yeiser said. “I think rather than doing what I [suggested]…you are not looking at diversity.”

Janes sought to clarify.

“The idea of diversity is very different to different people,” he said. “[Diversity] can be geographical. It can be educational attainment. There are all kinds of things that it can be.”

With other board members present, the board of trustees will look to vote on these recommendations at a future meeting.