Friday, December 18, 2009

Bexley library board names Rachel Rubin new director. John Matuszak reports for Bexley Public Radio.

The Bexley Library Board of Trustees has appointed Bexley resident Rachel Rubin as the new director of the institution. The decision was made at a meeting Dec. 17.

Rubin was one of about 30 applicants for the position, and was among the four interviewed. She is the manager of the Old Worthington Library and is a Ph.D. candidate at Simmons College in Boston.

She will start her new job Feb. 1 at a salary of $75,000 a year. She replaces longtime diector Robert Stafford, who retired in August. Susan Studebaker is serving as interim director.

Rubin, who has lived in Bexley three years with her two cats, said she is excited to have the opportunity to a serve a community that appreciates education and its library, evidenced by the 76 percent of voters who approved a library levy in November.

Like many of the books she will oversee, Rubin's story had an unexpected twist.

The Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, native said she never intended to enter the library field, even though her father works in the profession. But her interest in promoting literacy, particularly for children, led her to explore the discipline, and she found that she loved it.

After earning her master's degree from Kent State University, she went to work for the Worthington library, and left to work for Columbus Libraries before returning to manage the Old Worthington branch, where she has been for two years.

Several factors convinced her to seek the Bexley position.

"It's such a great facility. It's a wonderful building," she said of the Main Street landmark that opened in 1928. "There is such a potential to make it better."

She also lauded the knowledgeable staff. "There are so many things working together at once, it's a great opportunity."

With passage of the levy that offset some cuts in state funding, Rubin will head a library with more financial stability than many others, including Columbus, that have been forced to cut staff and hours.

Rubin wants to learn what people are looking for from their library before setting her own goals. But she said that improving services for children and young people, and keeping up with advances in technology, will be priorities.

During the campaign, the levy backers promised a teen lounge and wireless Internet technology as part of the planned improvements.

For her own fun reading, Rubin leans toward fiction. One of her favorite authors is Terry Pratchett, a humorous fantasy author of the "Discworld" series, along the lines of Douglas Adams, who wrote the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" books.

She has been involved in martial arts and also enjoys exploring area restaurants. Bexley Pizza Plus and Main Street's new sushi restaurant are two local favorites.

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Design is copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Foundation. Text is copyright 2009. All rights reserved. John Matuszak.

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