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Raised voices changed the standard whispers at Cincinnati’s library Tuesday morning as accusations of conflicts of curiosity and secret offers have been hurled at library trustees.
The Enquirer/Cameron Knight

After months of heated conferences, the Hamilton County Commissioners are anticipated to appoint a brand new board member to the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

After the library board determined this summer time to maneuver public services out of the North Building of the Main Library Downtown, activists have been petitioning the board and the county commissioners to take action and protect the building from a potential sale.

When board president Allen Zaring’s term expired in September, the “Our Library, Our Decision” coalition even put forward its own candidate for the seat, Sean Crowe, an academic librarian at the University of Cincinnati.

However, it appears the commissioners have settled on different choice from the pool of six candidates who applied for the volunteer position. 

The commissioners will vote Wednesday to appoint St. Bernard Elementary School Principal Karen Clemons to the empty seat.

According to her application, Clemons lives in Green Township. She graduated from Roger Bacon High School. She received a bachelor of arts in elementary education from Lane College in Tennessee.

Clemons went on to receive two masters of education from Antioch College in Yellow Springs: one in early childhood education and another in education leadership.

She has worked at St. Bernard-Elmwood Place Schools since July 2013 and prior to that worked at Mount Healthy City Schools.

In September when Zaring’s term expired, only Zaring and two others had applied for the seat: Mayor John Cranley’s mother, Susan Cranley, and LGBT-rights attorney Josh Langdon. The commissioners extended the application period netting three more applicants: Clemons, Crowe and Jeffrey Hall, the principal at Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Walnut Hills.

If Clemons is appointed by majority vote Wednesday, she will serve a seven-year term.

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