A library administrator from Louisiana with 25 years experience was hired Monday as director of the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library System.

A library administrator from Louisiana with 25 years experience was hired Monday as director of the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library System.

Michael Sawyer of Lake Charles, La., was hired by the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library Board of Trustees to replace Dave Burdick, who is retiring from the position on March 31.

Sawyer comes from Calcasieu Parish Public Library, where he is director. Burdick said the system is about twice the size of the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library System. Burdick said Sawyer has been an administrator of public libraries for 25 years, working at about five different locations in several states, including California and Iowa. He has also previously worked for a Department of Corrections Library System in Ohio.

Burdick said Sawyer won a national award for a children’s program he initiated and other national recognition. He has been published in the field’s professional publications.

“Personally, I feel that the library is very lucky to land a director of this caliber,” Burdick said.

Sawyer’s salary will be $60,000. The board also approved moving expenses of up to $3,000, to be documented with receipts. He will also be allowed one per diem visit of up to two days to locate lodging in the Pine Bluff area.

Burdick has worked for the library for 21 years, serving as director for 18 years. With Sawyer’s hiring, Burdick’s title has become “executive library director.” He will remain on the payroll through September 2012 in lieu of payment for unused vacation and sick pay, as approved by the board at a meeting in September 2011.

Burdick said Monday he will be available as an adviser during the transition.