The East Baton Rouge Parish library system has a new director.
Spencer Watts of Mobile, Ala., has officially accepted the position, library spokeswoman Sarah Crawford said Friday.
Watts will begin his new job on Jan. 7, pending passing a detailed background check, drug screening and certification by the Louisiana State Board of Library Examiners.
“I am pleased and excited to accept the offer extended by the Library Board of Control to serve as the library director of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library System,” Watts write in his acceptance letter.
The Library Board of Control on Aug. 18 voted 5-0, with two members absent, to offer the job to Watts, who most recently served as director of Mobile Public Library in Mobile, Ala.
Watts had held that position for 11 years and previously worked as director of the Roanoke County and Chesterfield County libraries in Virginia.
“We are delighted that Mr. Watts has accepted the position,” Library Board of Control President Kizzy Payton said in a written statement. “We feel that he will be an excellent fit for the library system and will make a lasting contribution to the community. We are proud that during the search for library director there has been no interruption in service, but we are all eager to have Mr. Watts on board.”
Watts, who has 28 years of library experience, will make an annual salary of $100,202, which is the top possible pay for the position according to city-parish guidelines.
He spent two days in Baton Rouge this past weekend, touring library branches, meeting staff members and interviewing with the Library Board before being offered the job.
“I look forward to working with the Library Board, the staff, local government officials and our citizens,” Watts said in his acceptance letter.
“Together we can build on a well-established tradition of excellence and meet the challenges of the future. … To maintain and to continue to improve the public libraries for the citizens of East Baton Rouge will require a great deal of committed focus, energy and hard work. I am delighted to have the opportunity to participate in such an effort, and look forward to working with everyone to maintain and build a strong, responsive, vibrant library system for the community.”