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Monroeville Public Library names new director |

Monroeville Public Library names new director

Lillian DeDomenic | For Trib Total Media
Members of the Gateway High School Chamber Orchestra entertain guests at the 50th Anniversary Gala of the Monroeville Public Library on Saturday night, November 15. The Gala was hosted by The Friends of the Library.
Lillian DeDomenic I Trib Total Media
In a surprise announcement, Monroeville Library Board President Lisa Fennessy, right, introduces the new MPL Director, Nicole Henline, left, at the 50th Anniversary Gala hosted by the Friends of the Library Saturday night, Nov.15.

The Monroeville Public Library has named a new director who is expected to start work there in coming months.

Nicole Henline, director of the Community Library of the Shenango Valley, will be the new director at Monroeville, library board president Lisa Fennessy announced Saturday during a 50th anniversary reception hosted by the Friends of the Monroeville Public Library.

Fennessy said she expects Henline to arrive by early next year.

“I would hope that she would start by then, but we still haven’t got a start date,” Fennessy said.

The Monroeville library has had an eventful 50th anniversary year. Former library director Christy Fusco retired in June, a month after Monroeville voters defeated a ballot referendum that would have established a dedicated, 1-mill real estate tax for the library.

The tax would have generated $2.3 million a year for the library and replaced municipal funding, which is proposed at $1.1 million in the 2015 budget draft. The revenue also would have paid for renovations and building improvements.

Without a director, two other employees — Sally Michalski, head of technical services, and Johnna Cornelius, office manager — worked with municipal officials to prepare a proposed operating budget.

The budget plan includes $47,500 to pay outside engineers to perform renovations on the building’s lobby.

Henline, 31, has been director of the Shenango Valley library in Sharon, Mercer County, for more than three years.

On her watch, the library started lending Kindle electronic reader tablets and e-books, and allowing patrons to make appointments to come in and learn to use electronic devices.

She also worked part-time for the library in Penn Hills, her hometown, from 2000 to 2011.

Before she went to Point Park University to study for a master’s degree, Henline taught seventh-grade English in the East Allegheny School District from 2006 to 2010.

Fennessy, who led the library’s search committee, said the open director’s position drew at least a dozen applicants for the initial round of interviews.

She said Henline stood out because of her ideas for new programs.

She declined to disclose Henline’s starting salary, because a letter with that information hasn’t been sent. The library has nine full-time and 15 part-time employees, not including the director.

Henline said Saturday that her first task will be to get used to her new position.

“The most important thing is to get to know the library and the community and what they’re doing well, because it is a well-respected library,” she said.

Gideon Bradshaw is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-871-2369 or [email protected].

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