Mid-Columbia Libraries executive director fired

By John Trumbo, Herald staff writerMay 19, 2010 

KENNEWICK — The executive director of Mid-Columbia Libraries was dismissed from her $110,000-a-year-job Monday night following an executive session with the board.

Gloria Garcia, board chairwoman, said the decision to end Danielle Krol's employment was difficult but the best thing for the library district.

"(She) was dismissed immediately, without cause, as allowed by her contract," Garcia said Tuesday in a phone interview.

Krol, who became executive director in 2004, was not available for comment.

Kyle Cox, the library's administrative services director, was chosen by the board to be the "Mid-Columbia Libraries person in charge," Garcia said, adding that he will not assume the title of interim executive director.

"We know Mid-Columbia Libraries is in good hands with the executive staff. We have full faith in the staff's leadership skills and ability," she said.

Garcia said the board deliberated carefully before its unanimous decision.

Prior to going into what became a 90-minute executive session, the board considered and approved a travel request from Krol, who asked to make a one-day side trip from attending the American Library Association Conference in Washington, D.C., in June to tour the award-winning public library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in North Carolina.

Garcia said the firing made the planned trip unnecessary.

Krol, 60, was selected for the library's top job six years ago from four finalists for a job that then paid $90,000.

Her predecessor, Phelps Shephard, had been the executive director for 10 years before being fired for an undisclosed reason in September 2003.

Before coming to the Tri-Cities, Krol was director of the Maricopa District Library in Phoenix.

During her six years with the district, the library system had major technology upgrades that included installation of wireless internet service and converting to self-serve electronic checkout.

Krol also oversaw recent board negotiations with the city of Pasco for library services.

Garcia said Krol is eligible for a six months' severance package that will include her salary and benefits.

Krol's employment contract was set to expire in six months, Garcia said.

* John Trumbo: 509-582-1529; jtrumbo@tricityherald.com

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