Library board names Hetherton director

A longtime Newport Beach Public Library employee has been promoted to director of library services.

The five-member Board of Library Trustees unanimously approved Tim Hetherton to fill the role during a special meeting Tuesday night, said Elaine McMillion, the board's administrative assistant.

Hetherton, who first joined the city in 1998 as a reference librarian, has served as the acting library services director since Cynthia Cowell retired in October.

After a lengthy search for Cowell's replacement, City Manager Dave Kiff recommended to the trustees that Hetherton stay in the position permanently.

"I think I had ample preparation for the position," Hetherton said, noting that the process gave him a chance to think more about why he wanted the job and what he would do in the role. "I really want to keep on with our tradition of customer service here at the library.

"We always look to enhance and expand our services and resources. We always want to go where our customers are going."

The library will always be centered on "books and literatures and authors," Hetherton said, be it through traditional books, e-books or some other technology.

He also hopes to introduce more programs for adults, such as book signings and public training in the library's new media and sound labs. He intends to market such offerings, not only to people who already frequent the library, but also to those who haven't yet discovered it.

"I know we have what they want. We just have to let them know about it," he said, citing already high customer satisfaction surveys.

In his first official task as the new head of the library system, not even two hours after his promotion, Hetherton headed to the Civic Center to present the 2014 cultural arts grants during the City Council meeting.

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