EPL releases resident feedback on next executive director


Daily file photo by Madison Smith

This is the second time in three days that EPL locations have been evacuated due to bomb threats.

Angeli Mittal, Print Managing Editor

The Evanston Public Library’s Board of Trustees released responses to a community survey about desired traits for a new executive director, with transparency and relationships at the top of the list.

Heather Norborg currently serves as the interim executive director, after Karen Danczak Lyons stepped down from her ten-year tenure in June.

As part of the search process for a new executive director, the Board of Trustees ran a survey collecting more than 300 responses in October and November. Seventy-nine percent came from community members, 12% from EPL staff members and 9% from EPL volunteers. 

Residents were asked to rank 13 candidate qualities by importance. The options “a relationship builder,” “an experienced public librarian” and “transparent communicator” were the most highly ranked. 

Respondents also emphasized the importance of traits like being “diversity, equity, access, and inclusion focused,” “skilled at budgeting,” “invested in staff development” and “setting vision and strategy.” 

Of the more than 600 responses from open-ended questions, 147 mentioned the next executive directory should find “community” in Evanston, though 63 responses also listed that as an expected challenge.

In addition to the survey, the board has hosted six “listening sessions” with Evanston residents and EPL staff. 

“We are very fortunate to have effective leadership in place, allowing for an intentional search process,” EPL Board President Tracy Fulce said in an EPL news release. “We are moving deliberately and thoughtfully to identify what we believe is most important for library director candidates to know about our library and our community.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @amittal27

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