Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

June 9, 2014

Checking in: Council hires new library director

By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — The Corsicana City Council approved the hiring of a new librarian for the Corsicana Public Library Monday.

Paul Phelan was welcomed by council members with a unanimous vote during Monday’s city council meeting.

Phelan comes to Corsicana from Greenville, where he’s served as library director since 2005. He’s also logged service in Farmers Branch, Collin Community College, and in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Phelan earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree at Oklahoma State University, and earned a Master of Library Science degree from Texas Woman’s University.

“He comes very highly regarded in the community and the city,” said City Manager Connie Standridge as she introduced Phelan to council members at a work session before Monday’s meeting.

Standridge said Phelan shared her views for the future of the Corsicana library.

“When I asked him what his vision of the perfect library was, his answer was ‘A library that gives most excellent customer service,’” Standridge said. “That’s my goal for our library.”

Phelan, a big believer in social media and modern technology, helped bring numerous improvements and additions to the Greenville Library. He said Corsicana was a good fit for many of those same kinds of additions.

“I think what’s driving things right now is you have a real change in terms of technology,” Phelan told council members. “Libraries are really evolving pretty rapidly right now. I think that’s kind of driving what libraries are becoming.”

Phelan replaces the vacancy created when Chad Freeze left the library in April for a position with Navarro College.


Accolades in public forum

  Mike Dunavant spoke during the public forum section and thanked council for installation of wi-fi service in genealogy department at the Corsicana Public Library.

New electricity contract approved

  Council approved contract with TXU Energy Retail Company that will result in net savings of about $89,000 for coming budget year. The contract will run for 19 months at a guaranteed rate.

Property declared surplus

  Council members OK'd a request to declare a list of city property as surplus for the purpose of sale or disposal. Several vehicles, furniture and office electronics are on the list. Some will be listed online, some may be disposed of. "They'll be sold if they are marketable," said City Manager Connie Standridge.

Street light audit agreement OK'd

  An audit of street lights the city pays for turned up some billing irregularities, including some lights that were over-billed, some under-billed, and some erroneously billed. The agreement provides for a payment of $19,087.22 from Oncor to the city to settle the claim.

CCVB Report presented

  Mickey Hillock provided a report from the Corsicana Convention and Visitor's Bureau. Hillock said hotel/motel taxes should see a $31,000 increase in the budget year, based on reports and projections. Hillock said event promotion financial help provided by the CCVB in the amount of $26,000 has generated a return of over $300,000 in economic impact for the city and county, based on data collected after the several events the bureau helped promote.


Bob Belcher may be reached by email at