After 18 months as interim executive director for the Mid-Columbia Libraries, Kyle Cox became the district's full-time administrator Thursday.
The district board voted unanimously 6-0 to hire Cox, 31, and pay him $98,000 a year.
Cox was one of eight applicants for the position, and the only one identified as a candidate.
"We are very happy Kyle is our executive director. He is homegrown and he knows the needs of the community," said MCL board President Gloria Garcia.
Garcia said in a prepared statement released immediately after the board voted that Cox has a dynamic combination of education and experience which was unmatched in the library district's search for an executive director.
"(He) has a proven track record of success at (Mid-Columbia Libraries) and we have always been impressed by his commitment to our mission. His enthusiasm and forward-thinking vision for libraries is inspiring," she stated.
Cox was hired in 2005 as communications director, became administrative services director in 2008 and was designated interim executive director in June 2010 following the termination of Danielle Krol from the position a month earlier.
"I am very excited to move forward with this position and privileged to be working with an excellent staff," Cox said.
Cox has two bachelor's degrees from Washington State University, in communications and political science. He has a master's degree from the University of Idaho in public administration, and will complete a second master's degree in library and information science next year through the distance program at San Jose State University.
Cox said his studies for a second master's degree are being paid by the library district. Two other library staff also are pursuing degrees with financial help of the library district, he noted.
Cox attended junior high school in Richland and graduated from Hanford High School in 1998.
He is married to Krista and they have two children, Connor, 5, and Caire, 3.