North Olympic Library System board promotes from within for top post

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The North Olympic Library System's current assistant director will take over the reins of the system in July.

The system's Board of Trustees unanimously approved a contract last week with Margaret Jakubcin, who became assistant director in 2007, to fill the director position from which Paula Barnes plans to retire in July.

The system oversees the Port Angeles, Sequim, Clallam Bay and Forks public libraries.

Jakubcin will make $7,125 per month, or $85,500 per year, after she starts July 1, according to her contract.

Pay raise approved

The board also unanimously approved a 24 percent increase to Barnes' monthly pay for her final four months as director.

Board President Don Zanon said during the meeting that the salary adjustment was in appreciation for Barnes' seven years of service as system director.

Barnes said her monthly salary will be increased from $6,831.13 to $8,538.91 for March, April, May and June.

The vote on Jakubcin's contract came just minutes after her name was officially revealed as the sole finalist for the director position.

Zanon said the board considered conducting a regional or national recruitment process for the next director but decided to stick with library policy of first recruiting internally after consulting with library staff, library branch friends groups and members of the library foundation.

“We have been working on building strength and leadership throughout the organization since 2007, with excellent results,” Zanon said in a news release.

“We suspected the skills and experience the system needs in the years ahead could very likely be found right here at home, and we were right.”

'I was interested'

Jakubcin, 54, said Friday she had known for some time that Barnes was planning to retire and that “many, many people” had asked her whether she was going to apply for the director position.

“I approached the board and let them know that I was interested,” Jakubcin said.

“This was just a very natural transition.”

The second time proved to be the charm for Jakubcin, who was one of four finalists for director position in 2007.

After Barnes was chosen then, Jakubcin said Barnes asked her whether she wanted to be the system's assistant director.

“I thought that would be a good move for me and my family, so that's how I got here,” Jakubcin said.

As assistant director, Jakubcin has been heavily involved in developing community partnerships and expanding the system's calendar of programs and events, Barnes said.

“Margaret has been more of a partner than an assistant during my tenure at [the North Olympic Library System],” Barnes said in the statement.

Oregon system

Jakubcin moved to Port Angeles with her husband, Michael, and their son, Tor, for the assistant director job after she had served as the regional library manager in the Jackson County Library System in Medford, Ore., for 10 years.

While in the Medford post, Jakubcin said, she was responsible for six library branches and oversaw six major renovation projects.

Jakubcin said she is looking forward to being involved in a potential new Sequim Library if the board and the community ultimately decide to move forward with the project.

“That will be really fun because I like building projects a lot,” Jakubcin said.

She said she also plans to continue the library system's progress in becoming more involved with the communities the system serves, something she said she thinks library staff have been successful in over her seven years as assistant director.

A graduate of Cornell University with a bachelor's degree in English, Jakubcin also holds a master's degree in library science from the University of Washington.

Jakubcin, who grew up in Denver, said she had always frequented libraries as a child, though it never occurred to her that libraries could be a career until she became an adult.

Jakubcin got her first taste of working in a library when she and her husband moved to the small community of Williams, Ore., and she took a part-time job at a tiny 500-square-foot library.

“It was the place to be in this tiny little community,” she said.

Jakubcin said she loved how connected the community was to the library and decided to pursue a master's in library science so she could start a career in the library field.


Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at

Last modified: March 29. 2014 5:30PM
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