The Putnam County Library is looking to add a new librarian dedicated to community outreach.
Director Phil Schaller said the need was identified two years ago as part of the library’s 5-year strategic plan. Schaller said the importance of partnerships in the community is why the library needs an employee who can focus on outreach objectives.
“Currently a lot of that stuff gets done by our current staff,” Schaller said. ‘So it stretches us pretty thin to be able to do all the things that we need to do. As well as, communicate to the public, do our outreach and do our programming and do our collection development.”
Schaller said the outreach librarian could better convey to the public and stakeholders what the library is accomplishing in the community and what opportunities it wants to create. However, he said there has been no feedback yet from the city or county and he will wait to see how the request goes during budgetary meetings.
If the communications librarian is approved, Cookeville would pay for the employee’s salary and Putnam County would pay for the employees benefits.
“We wanted to be able to communicate more effectively with our community and with our funding bodies, our stakeholders,” Schaller said. “To make sure everybody knows what we’re doing and that everybody has the ability to see what we’re doing, to be a part of what we’re doing.”
Schaller said he would hope for a more coordinated approach to partnering with schools, faith based groups and entities like WCTE. He said the need is there because of the existing community partners the library already has.
“Social media grows exponentially every year,” Schaller said. “We thought it’s best to have a dedicated person who takes care of that stuff. Does all of our marketing for us, does all of our communications through social media, through other platforms.”
Schaller said the position was identified by administration and the library’s board of trustees. This position is still being requested, and has not officially been approved of adopted.