We believe that the Metro Council should approve an increase in the salary that can be offered to the person selected as the next director of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library.
The Metro Council introduced such a measure at a recent meeting, and the council is expected to vote on the matter soon.
The salary range for the job allowed under city-parish rules is between $72,388 and $100,202. If the council approves a proposal developed by the East Baton Rouge Parish Library Board of Control, the minimum salary would be increased to $115,588 and the maximum salary for the next library director would be $160,000.
We don’t know if the stipulation of a minimum salary of $115,588 is needed, but we believe that setting the maximum salary at $160,000 would give library officials the latitude they require to attract a good pool of promising candidates for the job.
Increasing the potential salary of the next library director would allow the local library system to offer a salary for its director that would be comparable with the compensation given to directors in similar library systems.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Library director is responsible for overseeing a large staff, multiple branches, a multimillion-dollar operating budget and a large construction program for new library buildings that are in development. Given those responsibilities, local library officials need to offer a competitive salary to attract good candidates for the job.
When library officials searched for a director in 2008, the vacancy attracted few viable candidates. David Farrar, who had run a small library system in Alabama, eventually got the job. He resigned last year after revelations that he had a criminal record.
Increasing the prospective salary for the next director is necessary to help attract a quality leader for this important institution.