Retiring Toledo Librarian Selected as New Rossford Library Director

By Beth Church

Retiring Toledo librarian Jeannine Wilbarger has been appointed as the new director of the Rossford Public Library.

The library board of trustees met Monday afternoon to confirm the appointment, which is effective April 16.

Ms. Wilbarger, a resident of Curtice, has served as manager of circulation services for the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library since 1990. She began her career at the library in 1968.

"She is a very well-qualified, extremely experienced, knowledgeable candidate," said Tom Uhler, vice president of the library board of trustees.

There were 33 original applicants for the position that the board narrowed to nine and interviewed by telephone, he said. Two final candidates were interviewed in person by the board.

Members of the library board of directors are Mr. Uhler, Dave Orlowski, Virginia Smith, Michael Alexander, Patricia Appold, Doris Dubilzig and Mary Kay Scott.

Mr. Uhler said they were impressed with the quality of applicants.

"We received resumes from all over the country," he said. "There was not a shortage of candidates."

Ohio libraries are considered among the best in the nation, and well-funded by the state, he said, which explains why candidates as far away as California applied for the opening.

He added that the library's recent extensive renovation also was attractive to candidates.

The board was assisted in the search by Linda Murray of the Ohio Library Commission, based in Columbus.

Among the board's top priorities for the new director are community involvement and expanding services to the township, Mr. Uhler said.

"We like to see the director have greater interaction with the community-with residents and businesses," he added.

With the growth of Rossford to the south, he also noted that the board would like to explore ways the library can better serve Perrysburg Township.

"If a new junior high is built in the township, we may need to look at co-locating there," he said.

Unlike municipal libraries, the boundary for the Rossford library matches the Rossford School District.

This year the board also faces a decision on the library's 1-mill levy, which expires in December.

"She'll be very much involved in that," Mr. Uhler said.

Ms. Wilbarger earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Toledo and has attended specialized library management programs at Miami University and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

She has been active in the Ohio Library Council, serving as annual conference chair and is a past president of the OLC.

Mike French has served as interim director since the resignation of Marsha Wagner in October.

Mr. French previously served as the library director from 1972 to 1998.

"Mike has done an outstanding job -- he's guided us through this time when we didn't have a director, and the board has been very pleased," Mr. Uhler said.