The St. Joseph County Public Library has announced that Debra Futa will become the sixth library director. Futa, the current assistant library director, was chosen during a board meeting this week.
“We were astounded at the strength of the candidates,” Terry Rensberger, Library Board President, said in a statement. “Mrs. Futa brings with her many years of leadership and vision. We are very pleased to have her at the helm.”
Outgoing library director Donald Napoli, who announced his retirement in January after serving in the position for the past thirty-seven years, praised his colleague for her work and leadership skills.
“There isn’t a better person in the United States for this position,” Napoli said. “I originally chose her as Assistant Director because she is extremely talented and has always been able to give honest feedback, even to those in power. That’s a hard-to-find trait, but it’s a necessary skill for a director.”
Futa, who holds a Master’s of Library Science from Indiana University, has spent thirty-six years as a staff member at the St. Joseph County Public Library.
She began her career as a work-study student. From there she worked as an assistant librarian at the Francis Branch on the north side of South Bend, as a coordinator of the Bookmobile Program, head of the IT department, and Chief Financial Officer before becoming the assistant library director.
Futa will assume the role as director on July 1, 2015.