Dayton Metro Library board expected to pick new leader today

Chris Stewart, Dayton Daily News, Ohio
·3 min read

Feb. 23—Dayton Metro Library board members are expected to name their pick to be the system's next executive director during a special meeting today.

"The trustees have carefully considered all three of our highly-qualified candidates, and following final discussions tomorrow (Tuesday) we anticipate announcing our selection," said Elaine Zimmers Johnson, the board's president and a member of the search committee.

Trustees are also expected to approve a compensation package for the selected candidate during the 12:30 p.m. meeting. The new executive director will replace Tim Kambitsch, who retires Feb. 28.

The three candidates under consideration are: Peter Coyl, director of the Montclair (N.J.) Public Library; Rachel Gut, Dayton Metro Library's current deputy executive director; and Jeffrey Trzeciak, director of the Jersey City (N.J.) Free Public Library.

Coyl, Gut and Trzeciak were selected from a pool of nearly 30 applicants by the search committee and were invited to a more intensive review process involving library staff, the Friends of the Library Executive Committee, the Dayton Metro Library Foundation Directors and the full Board of Trustees, according to the library.

"This decision is critical for the future of DML, as well as our community," said Zimmers Johnson. "The next director has to possess not only library expertise, but also be able to build trust with the staff and our patrons, and continue DML's reputation as a partner and collaborator."

Here's more information about each of the finalists provided by the Dayton Metro Library:

Peter Coyl has been the director of the Montclair Public Library in New Jersey since March 2017. During his tenure, Montclair Public Library has received four programming grants from the American Library Association and a Multicultural Program Award from the New Jersey State Library. Prior to his current position, he managed Dallas Public Library's J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. He began his library career in high school shelving children's picture books and in college was a bookmobile driver. After library school, he was a librarian at a K-12 international school in Taiwan. Coyl holds a graduate degree in Library and Information Science from Drexel University. He also earned an undergraduate degree in Public Administration and Public Policy from Oakland University and studied Mandarin Chinese in China and Taiwan.

Rachel Gut has nearly three decades of experience, beginning as a teen librarian for a small-town library to recent roles in administration at Dayton Metro Library. She holds a Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University and worked at smaller libraries before joining Dayton Metro Library in 2001. Since, Gut has been a branch manager, Outreach Services manager and currently serves as deputy executive director where she oversees operations, including public and youth services, collections, technology, facilities and security. Gut represents the library on the boards or committees of Welcome Dayton, Learn to Earn Dayton and the Montgomery County Educational Services Center. She also volunteers with the American Library Association's Services to Immigrants, Refugees, and Displaced Persons Subcommittee.

Jeffrey Trzeciak is a native Daytonian who began his career at the Dayton Metro Library. He is currently the director of the Jersey City Free Public Library, the largest municipal library in New Jersey. Trzeciak held senior positions at Newark Public Library, McMaster University and Washington University in St. Louis. In 2018, he received the Director's Recognition Award from the New Jersey Association of Library Assistants following a nomination by his staff. Trzeciak initiated the award-winning Documenting Ferguson project after the shooting of Michael Brown in 2014 and received a city citation for his commitment to the Newark Puerto Rican community in 2017. He earned a bachelor's degree in secondary education from the University of Dayton and a Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University.