Special Reports

Public can meet finalists for library's top job on Thursday

Lexingtonians are invited on Thursday to — once again — listen to and question three finalists for the vacant job of Lexington Public Library chief executive officer.

The library hosted a similar public forum in February for three previous finalists. But the finalist then chosen by the library board of trustees unexpectedly declined, and the board chose to reopen its national search rather than hire one of the remaining candidates.

The library is replacing Kathleen Imhoff, who was fired in July 2009. Imhoff is suing the library board and its former chairman, individually, for more than $5 million.

Thursday's public forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Central Library theater at 140 East Main Street.

The finalists are:

■ Ann Hammond, deputy county librarian at the Alameda County Library in Fremont, Calif., since 2007. Hammond oversees 10 branches, the virtual library and a bookmobile. Hammond was a finalist in 2008 to run the library district in Springfield, Mo.

■ Kitty Pope, executive director of the Alliance Library System in East Peoria, Ill., since 2004. Pope leads a consortium of 250 academic, school, public and special libraries. She was a finalist in 2009 for director of the Detroit Public Library.

■ Hampton "Skip" Auld, director of the Durham County Library in Durham, N.C., from 2006 until he was asked to resign in May. Auld and his supervisor, Durham County Manager Mike Ruffin, told The Durham News that they disagreed over management philosophy. "Skip has shown himself to be great at development (and) fund-raising," Ruffin told the paper in May. "But there are internals in this system I did not feel like were being given the level of attention they needed to be."