Ames Public Library Board member knew that Sheila Schofer was good at her job–running libraries–and as a native Iowan, he thought she might be interested in becoming the new library director.

Sheila Schofer

Sheila Schofer as the new Ames Public Library Director, who started in May 2019. The Ames Public Library will host a drop-in event so community members can meet Schofer and ask questions.

Charles Glatz, Ames Public Library Board member, called Schofer and invited her to apply and interview for the position. Four months later, the recently announced director will have a drop-in event Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Ames Public Library.

Schofer was announced as the new director for the Ames Public Library in March and began her tenure May 31. She previously served as Director of Neighborhood and Public Services, at the Brooklyn Public Library in New York with 20 years of experience.

The Ames Public Library nationally recruited many candidates for the position and thoroughly assessed each candidate through virtual interviews before inviting them in-person. Glatz said he and the board members have heard positive comments about Schofer and her skills regarding library management.  

“I actually contacted her to make sure she is aware of the position and gave her more information about it and encouraged her to apply,” Glatz said.

According to the Ames Public Library the general job duties for the director is to maintain the building and collection, manage and plan monetary expenses, provide programs that will enhance the community use of library resources, oversee human resources and supply general information.

Glatz said Schofer’s knowledge about programming and outsourcing is what made her the optimal candidate.

“A lot goes on with the Library beyond checking books on paper and books on electronic forms,” Glatz said. “And so she [Schofer] related well when she was here to the public, to the staff.”

Glatz said the Board interviewed the staff to gain more insight about the criteria for the new director.  

Ames Assistant City Manager, Brian Phillips, helped with the recruitment of finding a new director. Phillips said an important factor of this position is to make a connection between the Library and the community.

“A big part of this [the director] position is making connections with people and finding out how the Library can best serve their needs,” Phillips said. “So this is a part of building towards that, getting to know the community more.”

The drop-in event was coordinated by the staff and the Board from the Ames Public Library to invite the community to meet Schofer and ask her about future plans for the Library. The event will be held at the Farwell T. Brown Auditorium in the Ames Public Library and refreshments will be served.

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