High Plains Library District Selects Finalists for Executive Director Job
January 31, 2018
(Greeley– January 2018) – Midori Clark, Matthew Hortt, Eileen McCluskey and Laurel Prysiazny have been selected as finalists to fill the Executive Director position at the High Plains Library District. The candidates will be available for a public forum on Thursday, February 8 from 4-6 PM at the District’s Administration offices, 2650 W. 29th Street in Greeley. The community is encouraged to attend to get to know the candidates and their vision for the High Plains Library District. The four candidates will also be participating in discussions with staff on February 8, and final interviews with the Library Board will take place on February 9.
About the Candidates
Midori Clark is a Greeley native with a passion for highlighting the value and mission of public libraries. She has more than 13 years of public library executive-leadership experience. Clark is currently the Director of Community Relations, Development and Strategic Initiatives at Pueblo City-County Library District, where she joined the executive leadership team in 2004. Her areas of responsibility include district-wide data collection and analysis, centralized adult programming, marketing, public relations and fundraising.
Her proudest accomplishments include creating and directing the annual All Pueblo Reads literary project (with total participation of more than 40,000 in 2017), managing the Pueblo Library Foundation’s capital campaign that raised more than a $1 million for three new libraries built simultaneously in Pueblo County in 2015, and leading the marketing team that helped quadruple program attendance over the last decade. PCCLD was recognized by The Library Journal as one of only two Colorado four-star libraries in 2017.
Clark graduated from Greeley’s University High School, and her undergraduate degree is from the University of Southern California in Broadcast Journalism. She holds two master’s degrees, one in Library and Information Science and the other in Applied Communication from the University of Denver. Prior to working at PCCLD, Clark was a television news anchor and reporter at the highest-rated TV stations in both Colorado Springs and Cheyenne.
Dr. Matthew Hortt is currently the City Librarian for the City of Santa Clarita Public Libraries. He has over 16 years of progressive experience in public libraries working at all levels in both Nevada and California. He holds a master’s degree in Library Science from the University of North Texas and a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs from The University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Hortt has experience in library safety/security, policy writing, strategic planning and construction project management. He has a passion for library advocacy and focuses on fundraising, working closely with Library Friends and Foundation groups to diversify fundraising activities.
He is active in the library profession and community; graduating from the Mountain Plains Library Association Leadership Institute 2010, Leadership Henderson Class of 2013 and Simi Valley Leadership Class of 2017. His service includes Economic Development Councils, Emergency Management Councils and Rotary Club. He has presented at the California Library Association Annual Conference and is an Executive Committee Member of the Southern California Library Cooperative.
Hortt published his dissertation which evaluated the effects of gratitude on prosocial behavior. He has also coauthored the article Nonprofit Human Resource Management, published in the Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy.
Eileen McCluskey is currently the Library Manager for the Old Town Library, Poudre River Public Library District, in Fort Collins, Colorado. She has expanded the library’s reach into the community by serving on the city’s Parking Advisory Board and as a facilitator on a project to support the reduction of ethnic disparity in the Larimer County juvenile justice system.
Prior to coming to Fort Collins, Eileen was the Principal Librarian at the Boulder Public Library where she led the Community Engagement and Enrichment division. She was a part of the leadership team in Boulder that transformed the library throughout a major renovation of the main library and a staffing restructure, resulting in the library being named the 2016 Colorado Library of the Year. Previous work experience includes 14 years at the High Plains Library District where she worked in multiple departments, branches and administration. At High Plains, she was a founding member of the centralized collection development team and started the training department at the district.
Eileen received her Master’s in Library Science from Rutgers University. She was a 2016 participant of the LEAD program at the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.
Laurel Prysiazny is currently Acting Dean for Library and Student Learning Support Services with Fresno City College (FCC). FCC has 35,000 students, so things are always busy in the library and tutorial services where 40 staff and 300 student aides provide tutoring.
For seven years, Laurel was County Librarian for Fresno County, directing the $30M operation with over 330 staff and 37 outlets. Laurel’s accomplishments included reducing processing costs by 50% for library materials and restructuring the organization to improve resource allocations and branch communications. She and the library team introduced innovative programs and services such as the With Out Walls Mobile Library (WoW!), the Digi-Bus mobile computer lab, and Citizenship Corners to help improve the path to citizenship. During Laurel’s tenure, Measure B, the Library’s 1/8 sales tax, was renewed for the longest period (16 years) and the highest voter approval rating (73.27%) ever.
Laurel was also Managing Director for the San Joaquin Library System (SJVLS), a 10-member library cooperative with 170 outlets. Laurel supervised SJVLS staff, oversaw the shared IT network, and was fiscal agent for the cooperative. Laurel also was Deputy Director for the Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix where she reorganized and modernized operations for the 280,000 sq. ft. facility. Prior to that, she worked for the Long Beach Public Library as Associate Director for the Main Library as well as Manager for the Automated Services Bureau.
Married (1 husband) with two dogs, Laurel is a newish American thrilled to call the United States her home.
The four finalists were selected from 27 applications following a nationwide search. The committee, consisting of two Trustees, one community member, two Member Library Directors and the Interim Executive Director, narrowed the list to eight semifinalists based on a review of applications, then down to four based on Skype interviews. The new director is expected to be in place by April.
Former Executive Director, Janine Reid retired September 1, 2017. Associate Director of Branch Services Tony Brewer has been serving as the interim Executive Director.
The High Plains Library District connects communities to information, inspiration and entertainment for life. HPLD includes libraries in Greeley, Evans, Firestone, Erie, Kersey, Ault, Eaton, Johnstown, Platteville, Hudson, Gilcrest and Fort Lupton.