After 27 years leading Greensburg Hempfield library, Muccari moving on to lead county network
Cesare Muccari, who has directed the Greensburg Hempfield Area Library for 27 years, will take on the challenge of leading Westmoreland County's library network and its 24 member libraries.
“The biggest challenge is going to be trying to help and support the libraries of Westmoreland County to make the transition with all of the technology that is taking place, with limited resources,” said Muccari, who was hired on Monday as executive director of the Westmoreland County Federated Library System.
“I want to help the libraries of the county to be robust” at a time when state funding has not been restored since cuts made during Gov. Ed Rendell's administration, Muccari said. The federated system, an alliance of libraries, was formed in 1993 to take advantage of increased funding from the county and state.
Muccari, 64, succeeds Nancy Gresko, who left the post this spring. He will oversee a federated system with a $1.77 million budget, according to the 2013 annual report.
By taking the post at the federated library system in mid-August, Muccari, a Mt. Lebanon resident, has increased his commute to work by a few minutes to its offices in Hempfield.
William Scheeren, interim executive director of the federated library system, said the organization will have no comment on Muccari's hiring until after the board's July 23 meeting.
Muccari's resignation is effective Aug. 8. The library board has scheduled a special meeting on July 22 to name an interim director and form a search committee to find a new director, Smith said. The board has someone under consideration for the post of interim director, but she declined to provide details.
“We are going to miss Cesare and all his successes at the library. We knew he is going to be difficult to replace. He is very involved in putting programs in schools to make the connection with the library,” said Jeanne S. Smith, president of the Greensburg Hempfield Area Library board of trustees and a member of the federated library system's board.
Muccari became director of the Greensburg Hempfield library in October 1987 after serving about four years as the librarian at the former state prison in Hempfield.
“I enjoyed giving the patrons the best possible library services with limited resources,” Muccari said of his time in Greensburg.
Muccari leaves the library in better shape than it was when he began, said Lee Kunkle, a board member.
During his tenure, the Greensburg Hempfield library took over the Youngwood library and made it a branch of the main library. Muccari was part of the board's plans to construct a new building at another location, but that initiative died in 2008 when the nation's economy plummeted.
“That library would not be what it is today without Cesare Muccari. He will be sorely missed,” Kunkle said.
Smith praised Muccari for his development of the library's collection of electronic books.
“He is a leader in e-books and is a leader in that area in the county,” Smith added.
The Greensburg Hempfield library is making the transition to electronic books, which now represent 13 percent of the library's total circulation — about 1,000 a month, Muccari said. And it's not just the younger generation, Muccari noted.
“We're seeing a lot of older people going to electronic books,” Muccari said, pointing out that the text can be enlarged to make it easier to read.
Muccari said he would like to see growth of electronic books in the area's other libraries, but in his new role, he won't have supervisory power over member libraries.
Muccari said he hasn't met with the library system's board since his hiring and is waiting to learn what direction they want him to take.
“This is something that has to be worked out with the board,” Muccari said.
He declined to comment on the salary for his new job. Muccari's salary in Greensburg was reported as $52,259, with $1,600 listed as “other compensation from the organization and related organizations,” according to the 2012 Form 990, the most recent available on GuideStar.
Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.