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Bronxville Library Names Interim Director

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – Just over a month after Bronxville Library Director Laura Eckley handed in her resignation and withdrew a lawsuit, village resident Linda Smith-Shearer was appointed temporary interim director, the library Board of Trustees said Monday.

"Linda is the perfect person to serve in the interim capacity for the next few months," board President Kathy Mullen said in a written statement. "She has extensive management experience. And as a long-time resident and a board member of the Friends of the Bronxville Public Library, she understands our community and library system."

Smith-Shearer has years of experience with nonprofit organizations, including a seven-year stint as executive director of the Community Fund of Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe.

The appointment is effective immediately. Smith-Shearer said she is pleased to have the opportunity to work with the staff and the library board.

"The Bronxville Public Library is such a special village treasure," Smith-Shearer said. "I've enjoyed getting to know more about its programs and operations as a member of the Friends these past five years."

The Board of Trustees will continue its search for a permanent director.

Eckley left her job at the Bronxville Library after the village board passed a resolution to raise her salary, then rescinded the raise a month later.

Without having asked for a raise, Eckley received a letter in October saying her salary had been raised "in recognition of your impressive and excellent work as Director of the Bronxville Library." The letter continued to praise Eckley: "Your professional and creative management of the library, your judicious oversight of spending while enhancing services to patrons, has allowed us to make this salary to you possible."

At the time, Eckley was being paid $81,640 a year, and the raise of $18,360, about 22 percent, would have brought her salary to $100,000. Shortly after the raise was withdrawn, Eckley filed an Article 78 lawsuit against the village.

Eckley withdrew her petition and resigned effective Feb. 3, after receiving an offer for the directorship of the Larchmont Library.

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