Chief librarian Larry Little is soon going to finally have a chance to get some serious reading time in when he retires later this year.
“I’ve got a three-volume set sitting at home that is going to be one of the first things I tackle when I retire: Shelby Foote’s Civil War series,” said Little, a military history aficionado. “It’s a very extensive read but I am going to be down at the beach, sitting there in the shade, enjoying a coffee and reading those books.”
The board of the Penticton Public Library announced this week that they have selected Little’s replacement after an intensive search. Library board chair Alan Kidd said Heather Buzzell, currently with the Grand Forks Library, has been chosen to take over when Little retires on Aug. 17.
Little, who chose not to run for re-election as school trustee last fall, has been a librarian for 32 years, spending 26 of them with the Penticton Public Library where he has been chief librarian for 14 years.
“I’ll be 60 in the fall, so yes, it’s time. Go do something else or just enjoy life for a while. It’s kind of nice to wind things down. I’ve got lots of hobbies and I have lots of things I want to do,” said Little. “I’ve always told people I have the best job in Penticton. I get to meet people, I get to go about in the community. Plus you can’t beat the staff that I have there, they are absolutely the best.”
Buzzell’s appointment was unanimously approved by the library board.
“Ms. Buzzell brings a wealth of varied experience to the chief librarian’s role and will continue the great tradition of providing excellent library service to community,” said Kidd. The hiring committee, he said, received considerable interest in the position during their search for candidates, which started in early March. That was narrowed down to a list of 10 candidates.
“Then we narrowed those people down to four,” said Kidd. “We were looking for a certain fit. We have a record of having longevity in our staff at the library. On our senior staff, for example, the three management members have over 60 years cumulatively between them.”
Buzzell has worked in Grand Forks for three years and been a professional librarian for five.
“Right now I have the library director position in Grand Forks, which is basically the equivalent position, just in a smaller library,” said Buzzell, adding that her current library is well used by the local community of 10,000 people.
Little said there will be a transition period, with lots of opportunity for discussion and questions as well as the board chair taking Buzzell around and introducing her to individuals throughout the community.
“I’ve got lots of documentation, lots of papers for her,” said Little. “There will be a solid transition and I will make myself available if she has questions.”