The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has a new trustee. Karen Clemons replaces Alan Zaring, who had served since 2010, most recently as president. His term expired in September.
Hamilton County Commission Board President Todd Portune says Clemons understands what's at stake for the library system.
"My expectation is that she is going to bring this new set of eyes and also bring with her a set of values with respect to expectations of how libraries should operate."
Clemons joins the board amid complaints the trustees aren't listening to the public over plans to close part of the main branch.
"I want to reiterate what we told the representatives of the library board when they met with us back in September," Portune says. "Our expectations were then, and they remain today, that that process be conducted in an open and in a transparent way. That it be conducted in a manner in which there is the opportunity for dialogue with the general public."
Portune says he's working on a resolution reminding library trustees they are expected to be transparent and responsive. Commissioners appoint four of the trustees. The other three are selected by judges from the Court of Common Pleas.
Clemons is a principal at St. Bernard-Elmwood Place Elementary School.