Just as Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library Executive Director Martha Catt says goodbye, new library Executive Director Jacob Speer says hello.
The Library Board of Trustees announced on Monday, May 10, that Speer, a current Indiana State Library employee, would replace Catt as executive director of the library. He will begin on June 14.
“I am very excited,” Speer said. “I think the library is a fantastic library and I am excited to join the library. I think Catt has done a wonderful job. The library has a wonderful board and I am looking to build on that excellence that’s already there.”
Speer earned his masters degree in library science in 2003 from Indiana University, Bloomington and before that, had worked in various libraries including university, public and academic libraries. While he was earning his degree, Speer said he worked at the Donors Forum of Chicago with a specialized collection of philanthropy, foundation and non-profit material. After school, he started working for the Indiana State Library as the supervisor of the library development office and has been doing so for the past 5 1/2 years.
Speer says he thinks the library does a great job as far as programming, has a strong collection and are innovators in technology. He also says he hopes to bring another set of experience to the position.
“I am looking forward to diving in and bring a different set of experience,” he said. “I have background in statewide services, experience with trustee training and have trained librarians.”
LeeAnn Biggs, president of the Library Board of Trustees, said the board chose Speer because of his unique combination of experience, talent and enthusiasm to the library.
“Our board has worked for 18 months in our succession planning,” she said. “We now will switch to our onboarding plan in which Catt will have a bridging period with (Speer). Our assistant directors have also been part of this entire process which will help ensure a smooth transition. We have many goals for the future, but will take things slowly at first. We are very pleased to have Jacob as part of our excellent team.”
Speer also said he thought it would be a smooth transition into the position.
“Because of the hard work of the trustees, staff and Martha, it should be a smooth transition,” he said. “I am really looking forward to the opportunity and think Hussey-Mayfield is one of the top libraries in Indiana. I hope to continue to build on that.”