An assistant state librarian will be offered the position as director of the West Georgia Regional Library System.

The system's Board of Trustees met Tuesday to discuss candidates for the position and voted unanimously to offer the job to Jessica Everingham.

More than 30 applicants applied for the position but only Everingham and Laurie Eubanks were seriously considered for the position because of their credentials.

The director is expected to have a master's in library science degree.

The West Georgia Regional Library System position became open when Roni Tewksbury, who had spent 34 years with the library system, including the past five years as its director, retired earlier this year.

Board Chairman Clint Chance said the finalists would need to be able to direct the system of 18 libraries in Carroll, Douglas, Haralson, Heard and Paulding counties. The search committee asked for staff responses -- consisting of staff members of the other libraries in the system -- of who they thought would be the better of the two.

The search committee said that with the feedback they received from the staff, they recommended that the board hire Everingham.

"There is a majority of the salary of the director that is reimbursed from the state and in that there are laws," said Chance. "We have to work in certain parameters to narrow down who is the best candidate."

According to Everingham's resume, she has worked in the Georgia Public Library Service as Assistant State Librarian since 2014. Before, she was the director of the Okefenokee Regional Library System for a year and director of Library Services at Altamaha Technical College for 10 years.

"A couple of things that stand out in her current job is that she is responsible for a budget of $35 million plus, during the fiscal year 2016," said WGRLS Assistant Director Martha Goodson. "She is responsible for developing and maintaining cooperative relationships with instate agencies, and provides in-depth consulting services to all the libraries across the state."

Everingham also has a background in military. Goodson said that because of this, she feels Everingham could handle the number of libraries in the system and provide structure which Goodson feels they could use.

When the board was looking for a new director, members said they were looking for someone who understands the changing library world. They were also looking for someone who has the ability to work with a large, diversified group due to the fact that the 18 libraries are in five counties.

"I feel that what Jessica brings to the table is what we are looking for," said Chance. "She has worked in a multi-county system before, she also has worked at the state level, so she is able to, through her experience, to marry together how a system works regards to the state as well."

The original starting date for the new director would be in January but the board believes Everingham, if she accepts the position, could begin sooner and work alongside the WGRLS Interim Director Steve Schaefer to have a smooth transition.

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