VALPARAISO — Jim Cline is bringing an end to more than 25 years of service with the Porter County Public Library System.

Cline has submitted his intention to retire as director at the end of the month.

He has served in that top job for 10 years.

"The time is right," he said.

Cline said he has seen a lot of changes in libraries during his quarter of a century on the job. When he was working on his master's degree in library science early on, he said there was not yet readily-available internet.

He had nothing but praise for those he has worked with and the library system.

"It's been a great privilege to work in a system that long," he said.

Cline said he plans to take advantage of his new free time to pursue his hobby of repairing antique clocks. He also intends to spend more time with his children and grandchildren.

Cline is serving through the end of the month as director emeritus, and Assistant Director Phyllis Nelson is working as interim director, said Stu Summers, president of the library board.

"He's helping with the transition," Summers said of Cline.

The board has hired an executive recruiter to lead the search for a new director, he said. Nelson has indicated she is not interested in the job, Summers said.

The search is expected to last four to six months, Summers said.

The new director will help the library adapt to the changing times, he said.

Libraries once played a role of making expensive information available to the public by pooling resources, Summers said. But with so much information now cheap or free, libraries are refocusing on providing better access in forms such as wireless internet service and digital books.

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Porter/LaPorte county reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.