Revolving door continues at Library, Gittemeier gone

JACKSON, Wyo. — The Teton County Library board Thursday announced the departure of Oscar Gittemeier as its director.

Gittemeier held the position for just four months after taking over for interim director of services Sid Stanfill, who had to step in when the previous director Dawn Jenkin quit in November 2019 after 10 months on the job. Stanfill also pinch-hit for the library after the retirement of Valerie Maginnis in 2018. When Stanfill ‘timed out’ on his contract to run the library in April 2020, board treasurer Ari Goldstein was slotted in until the hiring of Gittemeier.

Now, they’re all gone and the library is again searching for a new director. Library board chair Mark Hendrickson said details regarding the succession to Gittemeier will be shared with the public soon. In the meantime, “library services to the public will remain uninterrupted during the transition thanks to the work of the many dedicated library staff members,” he assured.

More recently, the library has come under some scrutiny by members of the Board of County Commissioners—most notably Mark Barron—who have expressed a desire to take more control over the operation of the library, particularly the budget process. County attorney Keith Gingery is looking into the legal ramifications of the BCC tightening the reins on the library.

The last two library directors—Oscar Gittemeier (L) and Dawn Jenkin (R)—combined lasted just 14 months at the role. Courtesy photos

And then there were none

Gittemeier was hired from Atlanta, Georgia where he worked for many years in the Fulton County Library system. The board thanked him for his service and the “passion he brought to his role as director.”

After announcing her departure last November, Jenkin offered to stay on until January 17, 2020. The board, however, excused her just days after receiving her letter of resignation.

Maginnis held down the fort from Dec. 2015 to Oct. 2018 before announcing she was leaving Jackson. She was hired from the Boulder, Colorado area.

The library has not had longevity at the director position since Deb Adams was promoted from within in 2004. Adams had been with the Teton County Library system for 28 years when she retired in 2015.

Despite turnover at the top, the library remains a well-used and valued treasure for the community. Hendrickson attributed that to the dedicated staff.

“The library board recognizes and appreciates the library staff who have gone above and beyond, and will continue to do so as it is the priority of the library to provide the quality of service that is expected from the patrons of the library and the community,” he said. “The board is committed to ensuring that staff at the library have a good working environment and we will work to support them though this transition.”

As far as the relationship with the county, Hendrickson thanked the BCC for its support of the board and pointed to the “work the two bodies are doing together to ensure the community continues to be provided with the best of library services.”

Maximizing the efficiency and transparency of library operations is a shared goal of the two bodies and the library board appreciates the collaborative work being done in this regard,” Hendrickson said.

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