A decision could come within two weeks on hiring a permanent executive director for the Mid-Columbia Libraries.
A board committee has been working in the past month on the review of eight candidates, narrowing it to three finalists, said Celina Bishop, human resource manager for the Mid-Columbia Libraries.
The public library district manages 11 branch libraries and a bookmobile in the Tri-Cities and outlying communities in Benton, Franklin and Adams counties.
Bishop said the top three candidates include interim executive director Kyle Cox, who was administrative services director under former executive director Danielle Krol.
The library board is not releasing the names of the other two candidates.
Cox was placed in the top position following Krol's termination in May 2010. He is being paid $6,976 a month as interim director.
Bishop said the new executive director's salary and benefits will be negotiated, but the district's 2012 budget has a "placeholder" for the salary at $104,000 a year, or about $8,667 a month.
Krol was receiving $110,000 a year when she was fired.
Bishop said the search for applications was nationwide, and several applicants were from thousands of miles away.
"We had an interesting candidate pool," Bishop said, adding that interviews of the finalists should be completed by Friday.