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Urbana Library Names New Director After Scandal

Board President Calls Replacement a "Uniter"

After the former director agreed to an early exit, library brings in new Executive Director from Ann Arbor.

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(Duration: 4:44)

The Urbana Free Library announced a new executive director Friday.  Celeste Choate takes over from Debra Lissak, the previous director who agreed to step down early after a controversy over the way she weeded books from the collection. 

Choate says in a library news release that she's "thrilled to become the new Executive Director," and that she looks forward to helping the Urbana Library "continue to evolve."

Debra Lissak remains on the payroll at the library through early July based on her separation agreement.  Library board president Chris Scherer says she’s now working at home and has no role in day to day operations.

Scherer says Choate's hire brings a long, difficult process to an end.  He describes Choate as a uniter and a builder, and that he expects she will spend her early days on the job getting to know the library, staff and community.

"She told me this morning that she wants to get a handle on policies," he said in an interview.  "There’s nothing that needs great fixing but I think there’s a great deal of building among staff that she’ll have to spend time with."

Choate is a graduate of the University of Michigan and currently serves as Associate Director of the Ann Arbor District Library. 

Her first day on the job in Urbana is set for April 1st. 

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