The Grandview Heights Public Library's board of trustees will conduct a national search for a new director to replace Mary Ludlum, who has announced she will retire at the end of August.
Ludlum has served more than 30 years in Grandview, including a 25-year stint as the library's assistant director before becoming director in 2008.
"Personally and professionally, it just seemed the right time to retire," Ludlum said. "Certainly, with the passage of our levy last year, we have ensured a long period of financial stability for the library.
"Grandview and Marble Cliff are just such a wonderful, supportive community for the library, and that makes this a very attractive position," Ludlum said. "We know we will be getting a lot of outstanding candidates applying for the job."
The community's support for the library is demonstrated not only by levy successes, but also by how many people visit the library to use its resources and participate in its programs, such as Music on the Lawn and the Lazy Daze festival, she said.
That support helped bring the library recognition the past two years from the Library Journal Index as the nation's best public library in its category and as a "five-star" library annually since 2008.
"I've been very blessed to be in this community as a librarian," Ludlum said.
Ludlum's retirement "will leave huge shoes to fill," said John Evans, who is vice president of the library board and leader of the search committee.
"The good news is that she will be leaving a library that is in great shape financially and has a strong level of services and support from the community, and that should help us get first-rate candidates," he said.
It is almost impossible to overestimate the positive impact Ludlum has had during her tenure at the library, Evans said.
As director, she helped guide the library through a challenging time as state funding was cut while working with library staff to maintain the high level of service, he said.
"We've been fortunate to have a long tradition of quality library directors, first with Carol Pelz and the last five years with Mary," Evans said. "Mary has been a wonderful ambassador for the library and the community. She's been amazing."
The board has begun advertising the director position and will accept applications through March 15. Interviews will be held in early May and the board expects to make its selection before Ludlum retires, he said.