Illinois Man Hired as New Waukesha Library Director
Despite objections from two Library Board members, Grant Lynch will start on June 11 in the $91,800-per-year job.
A library director in central Illinois has been named the new executive director at the Waukesha Public Library after a nationwide search — despite the objections of two Library Board members.
The board approved the hiring of Grant Lynch, who will start on June 11. Lynch will replace former Library Director Jane Ameel, who retired early this year.
Lynch will be paid an annual salary of $91,800 and up to $4,000 in moving expenses. He currently serves as the director of the Princeton Public Library in Illinois, where he has been since 2008.
There were 39 job applicants for the library post, which was narrowed down to three finalists before the board selected Lynch.
Lynch was the best match for the selection committee, board member Cynthia Gannon said.
But two board members — Alderman Andy Reiland and Elaine Spelius — voted against the recommendation.
Reiland noted there was an internal candidate who had the necessary leadership skills and knowledge of the library to move into the position. It was later mentioned during the meeting that Deputy Library Director Karol Kennedy had applied for the position. Kennedy did not comment on the selection during the meeting.
“Let’s face it, we have had several key turnovers in the past year,” Reiland said. “To mix all this together, you risk the direction of the library taking a different course.”
Spelius was unhappy about the salary recommendation from the board’s Human Resources Committee when a lower amount was originally recommended, she said.
At one point, she called the selection process “unethical and unprofessional” before she was told she was out of order because the board was discussing the hiring and salary recommendation of the new director and not the process.
“I think stability is very important,” Spelius said. “I think stability is very important to the Waukesha Public Library. … This Grant Lynch is a young man. I just in my own mind wonder how long he would like to stay here in Waukesha. That is another factor.”