The Westerville Public Library is in search of a new leader, and will narrow its field of candidates in a public forum this month.

The library announced last July that longtime Executive Director Don Barlow would retire this year.

Barlow has been with the library for nearly 30 years, overseeing its status as one of Ohio's most popular and well-regarded establishments.

Westerville's library has been named a five-star library by Library Journal in each of the last four years, and was one of just 25 locations in the state to receive the honor in 2016.

In a forum set for 6 p.m. March 29, finalists for the director position will give 10-minute presentations before an hour-long moderated panel discussion that will address audience-submitted questions.

According to a release, the library began the process of searching for Barlow's successor last fall, hiring executive recruitment firm Bradbury Miller Associates to gather input and lead the search.

The library board received 47 applications for the director position.