UPDATED: Members of Milford’s library board were eager to meet their new director last week. But they were disappointed because he decided at the last minute not to take the job.

This week members got a reprieve from disappointment when another of the top finalists, Christine Angeli, agreed to become the new library director.

Board members, with help from a search committee, had been looking for a replacement for Director Jean Tsang since March. Tsang retired June 21, but she’s been working as interim director until a replacement was found.

Board members were surprised last Wednesday night when they learned the selection for a new director had fallen through.

“Are you serious?” asked board member Dr. Telka DiFate when she heard the news.

The board had selected Christopher Lindquist, a librarian from Massachusetts, for the job. Lindquist hadn’t signed a contract since accepting the job about two weeks ago, but he did sign a letter of intent to become the new director. The board thought it was a done deal; so did the library staff.

But Lindquist reportedly informed several board members the Friday before Labor Day that he had decided to take a different job closer to home that he saw as a great opportunity.

For the board, the news was almost déjà vu because a similar situation had arisen after the first round of interviews.

After the first round, in which the board and search committee interviewed nine candidates, they chose a woman who lived out of state. But the chosen candidate, after negotiations, decided not to take the job because it wasn’t financially practical: She would have to move and those costs would not be covered.

By that time, the second choice candidate had already found a job and wasn’t available to take the Milford position, said library board member Linda Creedon.

So the process started again. This time board members and the search committee interviewed seven candidates. They selected a first, second and third choice.

After Lindquist declined the job, the board members waited to hear if Angeli would take the job. Tsang said Monday that she had accepted. The new director comes from the Russell Library in Middletown.

Creedon said she is thrilled that Angeli accepted the job. She will start Oct. 7.

“She has all the credentials we were looking for,” Creedon said, pointing out that when the board was making its selection, Lindquist had only won out over Angeli by a “hair’s breadth.”

“The only difference between her and Chris was that he had experience as a director,” Creedon said. “Other than that, they were both number one. Their qualifications were so very close.”

Angeli is head of circulation services at Russell Library, and in that capacity manages a budget and oversees 20 employees, Creedon said.

“We feel she fits with exactly what we need,” Creedon said.