All of this while facing continually slashed budgets. Birtell said she entered Clinton with roughly half the reading materials the library now maintains — 50,000 to date. Within her first week, the council had already asked to make staff reductions.
Yet, she improved the system’s popularity.
“Amy has changed the Clinton library,” Kinser said. “She’s contributing a valuable part to our (city leadership) team.”
Now, like Birtell, CPL will undergo a transition. The library is waiting to fill four vacancies on its board of directors before pursuing Birtell’s successor. Meanwhile, her duties will be split between acting director Beth Mosher and current archivist Brad Wiles.
Having worked under Birtell a number of years, Mosher said the director’s task seems daunting but manageable until a full-time replacement is found.
However, the pain of seeing her director leave is difficult to bear.
“I’m going to miss her,” said Mosher, who is not interested in being a full-time replacement at this time. “She’s laid down a very good infrastructure, or base, to move forward. I think (her replacement) can look at the basis of things that have been set up and see a good plan, and be able to move forward with it. That being said, I don’t want to see her go, but I think she’s got us to a place where we can carry on.”
For Kinser, Clinton should hope for a similar replacement. It speaks to the improvements Birtell has made in three years — a relatively short amount of time.
“The one thing I tend to do here in my job, when someone asks how things are going, I like to look back to where I started in 2011,” Kinser said. “To see where the library has come... the connections that have been made between the library and the city... that just wasn’t happening before. Amy has done so much bringing us all together. She’s going to be missed.”