(Kansas City, Missouri) – Debbie Siragusa, the Kansas City Public Library’s chief financial officer for more than 13 years, has been appointed interim director of the Library in the wake of the departure of Crosby Kemper III.
Kemper was appointed by President Donald Trump as the new director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). He wrapped up his 15-year tenure at the Library on Tuesday, January 21.
Siragusa, who also had served as a deputy director of the Library, was elevated last year to assistant director. Her appointment as interim director, succeeding Kemper, was approved by the Library’s board of trustees during its monthly meeting Tuesday.
“It is an honor,” she says. “While we’ll truly miss working with Crosby on a day-to-day basis, I know I speak for all of our staff when I say how proud we are of his IMLS appointment and how inspired we are to build upon his work here. This is one of the nation’s great libraries. More importantly, it is an essential community anchor that I look forward to serving as director during this transitional period.”
Said board President Jonathan Kemper, “The board has every confidence that Debbie, as interim director, will provide leadership to the Library’s strong management team and staff. She has worked closely with Crosby for many years in roles of increasing responsibility. We will look to her and her team to continue the Library’s trajectory to new levels of public service and innovation.”
Jonathan Kemper said the Kansas City firm of Bradbury Miller Associates has been retained to assist in the search for a permanent director. He gave no timetable for filling the position.
Siragusa joined the Kansas City Public Library in August 2006 after serving five years as associate vice chancellor for budget and finance for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, which oversees the state’s system of 25 colleges and universities. She has been the Library’s representative on board of commissioners of the Tax Increment Financing Commission of Kansas City and the Kansas City Public School Retirement System.