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Libraries get new director

June 21, 2012
By Kathleen Palumbo , Town Crier correspondent

With a growing resume that includes holding the position of Neighborhood Library Team Leader/District Supervisor at the Houston Texas Public Library, Heide M. Daniel is adding a cross-country move, having recently landed the position of library director for the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. With 11 years of experience working with and managing multiple library locations and system-wide projects, Daniel was chosen after a nearly yearlong search.

According to information provided by Janet Loew, communications/public relations director for the library, the Board of Trustees of the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County recently voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Library Director Search Committee and appoint Daniel, of Sugar Land, Texas, to the position of library director.

In July of last year, current Director Carlton A. Sears announced that he would be stepping down as director after 15 years of service, and will depart the position at the end of July.

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According to Loew, the Library Board thanked Search Committee members for their hard work and dedication in choosing Sears' successor. Members are: Dr. David Ritchie, trustee president; plus trustees Alex Benyo, Delores Crawford and Kathryn Bennett; Library Director Carlton Sears; Library Assistant Director Mary Pullin; Library Human Resource Director Ruth Bradshaw; and community member Joyce Brooks, who has actively participated in sessions of Library Strategic Planning, including the current Library 2011 plan.

Referring to Daniel as "an innovative leader and professional librarian," one who is "highly qualified to take on the duties of the director of PLYMC," Loew's announcement went on to share that Daniel, who has worked at Houston Public Library since 2005 and in her current position, oversees management of 16 neighborhood libraries and has had a hand in developing the vision and direction of Houston Public Library's Public Services Division.

Prior to joining the Houston Public Library, Daniel was Teen Services Coordinator in the Oklahoma City, Metropolitan Library System, and in her years at Houston Public Library, Daniel progressed from Assistant Manager and Juvenile Librarian, to Teen Services Coordinator, and eventually to Head of Programming and Youth Services, before being promoted to her current position.

With a master of arts in library studies from Texas Woman's University, Denton, Texas, and a bachelor of arts in women's studies from DePaul University in Chicago, Daniel's honors include recognition by the Texas Accelerated Library Leadership Institute in 2007, and the Beta Phi Mu Honor Society in spring of 2006, as well as having been active in the American Library Association, including serving on the Association for Library Services to Children's 2008 Theodore Seuss Geisel Award committee.

According to Loew, asked what would be her first priority when she begins her new job, Daniel said, "My first priority is getting to know the library and the community: its people, its issues, its strengths and areas of improvement. I want to learn what's taking place in Youngstown and Mahoning County. I want to know what the residents are like and what their dreams, needs and wants are. I want to explore the library system and I look forward to getting to know the library's staff."

"I have a variety of experience working with a large library system and am eager to bring new ideas and innovations to Youngstown," said Daniel, adding, "I believe an organization goes from good to great when it has vision based on the community it serves, when it implements the vision in innovative ways and when the staff clearly understands and joins in those organizational visions, goals and strategic plans."

Although a starting date for Daniel has not yet been determined, according to Loew, she will be an at-will employee, as the board did not establish a contractual number of years.

A mother of two, Daniel blends her personal life with being an active community member, with her new position welcoming her to that of the Youngstown area.



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