A librarian who lives in Jefferson County and works in Switzerland County has been hired as director of the Madison-Jefferson County Public Library.

Kristi Harms, the director of the Switzerland County Public Library for eight years, said her new job will not be official until she negotiates a salary and starting date, but she expects those to be successfully completed this week.

She expects to be going back and forth for a while as both libraries implement the Evergreen Indiana program. Her last day at the Switzerland library will be March 20. Harms has worked at the Switzerland library for 10 years, spending her first two years there coordinating children's programming.

Harms was an intern at the Madison library when she was an undergraduate and again when she was working on her master's degree.

"I already know everyone and I'm comfortable there," she said this morning.

She said the two libraries share a lot of patrons who sometimes go to Vevay and sometimes to Madison to the library, so she already knows some of the people who use the library in Madison.

Harms is in her church choir in Madison, and she does volunteer work in Madison. She volunteers in the Court Appointed Special Advocate program of the Southeastern Indiana Voices for Children, and volunteers in the archives at the Jefferson County Historical Society, where she sorts through boxes and files their contents, and preserves documents.

Harms has a bachelor's degree in library and information technology from the University of Maine at Augusta and a master's degree in library and information science from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. She grew up in Minnesota.

She got her master's degree last year in the same month she got her motorcycle operator's license. "Some people might be kind of surprised," she said. She will be 45 this year.

Harms and her husband, Dan, live on Dugan Hollow and have two children in college, both of them having been valedictorians at Shawe Memorial High School. Her commute to and from work will be much shorter because the Madison library is 1 1/2 miles from her home, while the Vevay library is 20 miles.

Implementation of Evergreen and opening a branch library in Hanover will be two big projects Harms will have in Madison. She expects Madison and Vevay to have more shared patrons with Evergreen, which will make borrowing materials from other libraries around the state easier.

Harms will replace Charlene Abel, who retired Jan. 30.