News - Joliet and Will County

Joliet Public Library hires search firm to find new director

The Joliet Public Library Black Road Branch is seen March 28, 2012. The library board has hired a search firm to find the library's new director.

JOLIET – The Joliet Public Library board has hired a search firm to help find a new director.

The board will meet Thursday with consultant John Keister to discuss the type of candidate it wants to hire.

Board President Lynn Poper Samalea said they expect to hire a new library director before the end of the year.

“We’re being optimistic for fall,” Samalea said Tuesday. “We’re moving as fast as we can. But we want the right candidate. We don’t want to rush it.”

Keister heads John Keister & Associates, a search firm based in Vernon Hills that specializes in recruiting library and technology executives.

The board meeting will be 1 p.m. in the library branch at 3395 Black Road.

Former Library Director Kevin Medows resigned in May to take a position as assistant director of discovery and technology at the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich. He was the third director since Jim Johnston, who headed the library for 33 years, retired in 2009.

Medows’ resignation was preceded by the departure of Deputy Director Pam Dube, who left in April to become director of the Woodridge Public Library.

The library is now being run by interim co-directors – Helene Marzec, chief operations officer at the Main Branch, and Laura Yanchick, youth services manager at the Black Road Branch.

“We’re looking forward to a new director, but the interim directors are doing a stellar job,” Samalea said.

Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and the City Council recently gave the library board a vote of confidence by reappointing them all to their positions.

Diane M. Harris of Joliet also was appointed to fill a board vacancy created in late 2015 when Ron Cornelius died.

The board has one more vacancy that was created in April when Kim Neidermyer moved out of Joliet.

Bob Okon

Bob Okon

Bob Okon covers local government for The Herald-News