Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Evanston Public Library director search continues

The Evanston Public Library will continue accepting applications for a permanent director until Feb. 2, and the library board has hired a search firm, The Singer Group, to advertise the position nationally.

The Singer Group CEO Paula Singer will present qualified candidates to the library board Feb. 8, and selected applicants are tentatively scheduled to be interviewed Feb. 21.

“The board will certainly be looking for someone with very strong experience working in municipal libraries as well as working in communities with a very diverse population, and with a community that is very engaged in the civic process,” interim director Donna Dziedzic said.

Former library director Mary Johns resigned in July 2011, creating the vacancy. Dziedzic was appointed to the position in August and said she has enjoyed working with the board so far.

“There have been some real challenges,” Dziedzic said. “However, it has just been really exciting for me to be able to work with this really incredibly caring and confident group.”

Dziedzic said major priorities for the board and new director will be working with Evanston officials on issues of governance and finance. Improving community outreach will be another goal, she added.

“The Evanston Public Library is in the transition from being a department of the city to being a self-governing fund separate from the city’s budgeting process,” board member Benjamin Schapiro said. “One of the things we’re faced with is operations at the public library are underfunded in terms of what is needed by the community.”

Schapiro noted that although the library is underfunded, he thinks there are solutions available other than raising taxes.

“We need to work on the ordinances and the procedures to make the library independent and at the same time – this is very difficult – focus on collection development and program development and outreach,” Schapiro said.

Former board member Susan Stone said desirable qualities for the new director include a good sense of humor, an ability to balance finances and having a desire to work with the community, specifically local businesses and Northwestern University.

“One of the qualities I thought was very important and a lot of people did too was someone who believed in bringing library services to a diverse population,” Stone said.

The board developed a strategic plan the new director will work to implement, said Paul Gottschalk, administrative services manager.

The position is posted at www.railslibraries.info/jobs/20111213/library-director.

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Evanston Public Library director search continues