Chattanooga Public Library hires new director

photo Corinne Hill, interim executive director of the Dallas Public Library, speaks during a media event at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in Dallas in 2011. Hill has accepted a position as executive director of the Public Library in Chattanooga, library officials confirmed.

The Public Library has a new executive director.

Corinne Hill, interim director of the Dallas Public Library in Texas, has accepted a position as the permanent executive director at the Public Library.

Hill said Friday she cannot wait to get to Chattanooga and start to work.

"There's a lot of work to be done," Hill said Friday. "But it's cool work."

Jim Kennedy, chairman of the Public Library board, offered the position to Hill on Friday afternoon. She will start at a salary of $121,000.

"As a board, we trust she will be a hands-on, fully engaged library director with a vision to take our library firmly into the 21st century," Kennedy said.

Hill said she has given the Dallas Public Library a 30-day notice but still is working out the details on when she will start work in Chattanooga.

"Hopefully, in about six weeks," she said.

Hill will succeed David Clapp, who retired as executive director in December 2010. Clapp's salary was $84,423 annually. Eva Johnston has been interim director for the Public Library over the past year.

NEW LIBRARY DIRECTOR• Name: Corinne Hill• Age: 49• Salary: $121,000• Past: Hill has served as the interim director of the Dallas Public Library in Texas since 2010

Mayor Ron Littlefield applauded the hire Friday, saying she is the right person to lead Chattanooga into exploring ways to offer more e-books and Internet offerings.

"She has a lot of spark and energy and seems to have a real vision of leading the library into the digital age," he said.

The library board met 1 p.m. Friday and voted 5-0 to authorize Kennedy to offer the job to Hill.

She had come to Chattanooga almost a month earlier for an interview. The Dallas Public Library is searching for a permanent director and had offered Hill that position.

Instead, she chose to come to Chattanooga.

"It's a really cool town," she said.

She is looking forward to incorporating technology and other changes at the library.

"For me, it's about the work," she said.