This article was updated at 6:15 p.m.
BRONXVILLE, N.Y. New Jersey librarian Gabriella Radujko will be the new head of the Bronxville Public Library as of June 4, library officials said Wednesday.
Radujko is currently the Information Services Librarian at the Oradell Public Library and has served as director of the Fairview Free Public Library and as the Youth Services Librarian for the Wood-Ridge Memorial Library, both also in New Jersey.
The villages library has been without a director since Laura Eckley left the post last January after suing the Village of Bronxville, its mayor and the Bronxville library for nulling an $18,500 pay raise one month after notifying her of it last October. She had not requested the increase and was informed of it via a letter that had also praised her work.
Eckley dropped the lawsuit upon joining the Larchmont Public Library as its director. About $25,000 has been paid out to two law firms to date for work related to that lawsuit, costing taxpayers approximately $6,400 more than the raise itself.
Karen Leahy, who has been visiting the library regularly for the past nine years, said Wednesday that though she had been unaware of the controversy surrounding Eckleys departure, she was pleased to learn the library was getting a new director.
I had no clue that anything was amiss at the top because at the level of the user, it was calm and orderly, Leahy said. Still, its good for any institution to have a conflict over with and behind it.
I will look for any changes as I am sure (Radujko) will have new ideas and will suggest new programs. I look forward to them, she added.
In the written statement, Rosanne Welshimer, president of the library board, welcomed Radujko to the library.
Her credentials, dedication, and clear enthusiasm for her profession make her an exciting choice to lead our library forward, Welshimer said. With her professional expertise and strong communication skills, Gabriella is well equipped to work with our board to successfully meet the challenges facing libraries today.
Radujko, who resides in New York City, was selected for her experience with developing library programs and collections, as well as managing budgets and facilities, library officials said. Her experience with e-books, which the board has been considering expanding by creating a reserve for the exclusive use of village residents, was also a factor, board members said.
Library Trustee Sean Abbott, who was the lone holdout against rescinding the pay increase to Eckley and who has publicly criticized the library board and village officials for that action, said, I am delighted.
In a statement to The Daily Bronxville, Village Mayor Mary Marvin complimented the library board for their comprehensive search which has brought us a librarian with a multitude of skills as well as a vast amount of managerial experience."
Radujkos initial weeks at the post will overlap that of Interim Director Linda Smith-Shearer to facilitate a smooth transition period, library officials said.
I look forward to having conversations that will explore the ways tradition and technology can be balanced to the greatest benefit of the community, Radujko said in a statement.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.