Tullahoma’s Coffee County Lannom Public Library has secured permission from the county Budget and Finance Committee to amend the Tullahoma library’s budget to pull funds from the vacant director position to supplement the assistant director’s salary while she fills in the interim.
Former Coffee County Manchester Public Library youth services librarian Courtney Mercurio currently serves as interim director.
Coffee County Library Board of Trustees Vice Chair Dr. Kathy Rose addressed the committee at the Oct. 12 meeting.
“On Oct. 1, Susan Stovall, who has served as director for a number of years and a library employee for over 25 years retired. There is a bit of a shortage of applicants in Tennessee right now and since we don’t have the big bucks of Captain D’s or Ruby Tuesdays to offer sign on bonuses, we anticipate that our search for a new director is going to take a while,” Rose said. “We are already operating shorthanded down there. We have three positions not filled and we anticipate two more will be vacant by the end of the year… we are operating at a skeleton crew.”
She noted that the Manchester library director search took a full year.
“Since (Mercurio) will be wearing two hats, and we don’t know for how long, we want to make sure that she is adequately compensated for the work she is going to be doing.”
The budget amendment will pull $15,072 or 50% of the assistant director’s salary from the director salary line item to the librarian line item to supplement Mercurio’s salary. The money will only be paid as long as Mercurio serves as interim director.
Rose said that the state highly recommends the director position be filled with a person who holds a master’s degree in library science.
“We certainly want to find the most highly qualified candidate we can,” Rose said.