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New Middletown Library Director Will Begin in February

Previous director resigned in September following email controversy

Middletown library file photo.
Middletown library file photo.

Months after its director resigned following an email controversy, Middletown’s library once again has a leader.

The library and township announced Thursday that Kim Rinaldi will serve as provisional director beginning Feb. 24. Rinaldi, who previously served as director for the Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library in Washington Township, will be paid a salary of $95,000, according to officials.

“Ms. Rinaldi is excited to begin her new position as Provisional Library Director and looks forward to working with the Board of Trustees, staff and residents to continue to make the Middletown Township Public Library a premier resource and destination of choice for the residents of the township,” reads a news release issued by Middletown officials.

Susan O'Neal resigned as the library’s director in September 2013 after becoming embroiled in a controversy related to emails she exchanged on township library budget matters with Linda Baum, a Democratic candidate for Township Committee and critic of the governing body.

The library board did not seek to find an immediate or interim replacement for O’Neal. Personnel Committee member Vivian Breen said in October an interim director appointment was discussed but not needed since operations were overseen by the township administrator and the library Board of Trustees.

Rinaldi managed 26 employees and a $2.5 million budget at the Margaret E. Heggan library, according to the township, and is credited with saving $150,000 in annual operating costs there by outsourcing material cataloging and processing.

The new director has a Masters degree in Library and Information Science from Texas Women’s College, according to the township. She also has served as director of the Brielle Public Library and was a senior librarian at the Ocean County Library’s Long Beach Island branch.

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