TOWANDA - June Houghtaling is leaving her job as director of the Towanda Public Library to become the full-time system administrator of the system of public libraries in Bradford County.

Houghtaling will replace David LaFrance, who retired from the position at the end of December.

"It's really sort of a natural progression (for me)," Houghtaling said, explaining her move into the new position. She said that she received her master's degree in library science in 2010, which qualified her for her new position, and she said her 10 years' experience as Towanda's library director also prepared her for the job.

Houghtaling said she has loved her job as Towanda's library director.

However, she said: "I've been here 10 years, and maybe it's time for a change for me, and maybe for the library, too." Whomever is chosen as the new director of the Towanda Public Library will bring new ideas to the facility, she added.

At their most recent meeting, the Bradford County commissioners appointed Houghtaling to the system administrator job, effective Feb. 4.

David LaFrance began serving as the system administrator three years ago, when the position was created.

Prior to the that, the system administrator's duties were carried out by the director of the Bradford County Library, who also served as the administrator of the county library.

"That was a huge job for one person," Houghtaling said.

The system administrator administers the state funds that come to the nine state-funded public libraries in Bradford County, and serves as a liaison between the Pennsylvania Office of Commonwealth Libraries, the North-Central Library district, and local public libraries.

The system administrator also fosters cooperation and collaboration between the public libraries in Bradford County, Houghtaling said.

Houghtaling was one of two candidates for the system administrator position, Bradford County Human Resources Director Mark Agutter said.

Interviews of the two candidates were conducted by an ad hoc committee, whose members consisted of Agutter, North Central Library District consultant Melissa Rowse, and Mary Campbell, who is a member of the board of directors of the system of public libraries in Bradford County.

The committee recommended that Houghtaling be hired, Agutter said.

"I believe she will do a good job," Bradford County Commissioner Daryl Miller said.

Houghtaling will be paid $15.89 per hour, and will work 37 1/2 hours per week, the Bradford County Salary Board decided.

Houghtaling holds a master's degree in library science from Clarion University in Clarion, Pa. She said she took all of the courses for the degree on-line.

Prior to working at the Towanda Public Library, she had worked for 13 years at a public library in Lufkin, Texas, who she held several jobs, including children's librarian and business manager of the library.

The trustees of the Towanda Public Library will be discussing the hiring of a new library director at their meeting on Feb. 12.

James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: jloewenstein@thedailyreview.com.