Linda Mielke is no longer the director of the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System and the James Prendergast Library Association.
The boards of the two organizations announced Thursday afternoon that Tina Scott, formerly the assistant library director, will be stepping in as acting director.
According to Thomas Price, president of the board of trustees for James Prendergast Library Association, the two boards had a joint meeting on Aug. 30. He called the meeting the "culmination of an extensive evaluation process," at which point the boards decided to make a change.
"This is all very deliberative. The joint boards decided simply to make a change. That's our statement," Price said.
Scott was hired initially as an assistant to Catherine Way, the previous library director. Scott eventually became the assistant to Mielke. According to Price, Scott has extensive library experience.
"We have Tina Scott, who is going to be the acting director of both organizations," Price said. "We were delighted to have her agree to have her serve as acting director, pending any further action we might take."
Mielke was announced as the director of Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System and James Prendergast Library Association in early November. Since 2009, Mielke had served as director of libraries for Butte County Library, a Northern California public library system. She has also held library positions in Florida, Maryland, Indiana, Texas, Oregon, Illinois and Nevada.
Additionally, Mielke was noted as an active member of the American Library Association and a past president of the Public Library Association.
Since becoming director of the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System and James Prendergast Library Association, Mielke's accomplishments include extending the hours of the Prendergast Library to include 10 extra hours per week, starting a program to provide book clubs with books for all members for free and moving library computers to the ground floor of the library.
Some of Mielke's proposed changes proved to be controversial. Nearly 60 members of the public attended a board of trustees work session in April to discuss the direction the library had taken since Mielke was hired.
The meeting raised allegations that the library's collection was being destroyed. It was reported that 7 percent of the books in the reference section were weeded out. Additionally, the library had removed out-of-date or damaged books from the system.
The next board meeting will be held Sept. 20 at 12:15 at the library. Price said one of the items on the agenda will be how to handle the interim.
"Right now, we fortunately have this very talented lady who has agreed to act," Price said. "We are confident everything is going to run very smoothly and seamlessly given her skills and the cooperation of the staff."