NEWARK, NJ — Newark Public Library is on yet another search for a director after losing Jeffrey Trzeciak to Jersey City Free Public Library,

Trzeciak, who served as director of NPL for just two years, will now oversee the JCFPL system. JCFPL announced Trzeciak’s hiring in October, much to the surprise of NPL staff and trustees, who are now tasked with finding a replacement to oversee its eight branches.

“I am extremely excited to join the Jersey City Free Public Library at this point in its history,” Trzeciak said in a press release. “I look forward to working with the staff, the board and the communities we serve to build upon past success and position the JCFPL as a national model for urban libraries.”

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In lieu of Trzeciak, the NPL board of trustees has brought its former director Thomas Alrutz out of retirement while a search committee finds permanent leadership. Alrutz, who has served on the board since 2014 and stepped in as interim director shortly before Trzeciak signed on, said he will act as interim director for the time being. 

“Everything is transitioning smoothly. I’m keeping the momentum going while we pick up the pieces and get everything we have planned moving forward,” Alrutz said, adding that he and the board met with Trzeciak on Wednesday to discuss the transition and all its moving pieces.

Trzeciak’s exit after just two years as director of NPL was unexpected, according to Alrutz, who said that the board was pleased with the way his leadership was panning out. Alrutz resigned from the board on Wednesday to assume the interim director role. 

During his short stint as director, Trzeciak was lauded for his actions and achievements, which included a more than $2.5 million increase in grant revenue. He is noted for installing a senior leadership team made up completely of people of color, and iIn 2018, NPL staff nominated Trzeciak for the Director Recognition Award of the New Jersey Association of Library Assistant.

Trzeciak could not be reached for comment about his decision to leave Newark for Jersey City.

The search committee in charge of hiring a new Newark director is led by board Vice President Lauren Wells and comprised of trustees, staff and community representatives as it begins the nationwide search process. The library expects to have a new candidate in place by July 2020. 

“This search provides a tremendous opportunity to consolidate and enhance the Library’s position as an anchor institution for the Newark community,” Board President Tim Crist said in a press release. “We’ve been on a trajectory of unprecedented growth, increasing circulation, programming and participants, engaging diverse audiences, and strengthening our position as a leading cultural and educational anchor in Newark.

Alrutz echoed Crist’s statements, emphasizing that the library is doing well and that he is dedicated to ensuring its continued improvements and successes during the transition.