From the Director:
John D. Richmond
ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES
Perhaps I should begin with the departures. After many years without staff turnover in key positions, Alpha Park is experiencing much transition, as they say in Jargon. (That’s change, to you and me.)
It all started with Debbie Wenzel, veteran head cataloger, who retired and was replaced by Jennifer Jacobsen-Wood. Next, after 39 years of service—she began working at the library in high school, and stayed—Marysue Baker retired as circulation manager. “Circulation” is library-speak for “checkout,” basically. When you check something out, you do so at the circulation desk.
By the time you read this, Kate Schwab, another circulation staff person, will have departed. So many good-byes to be said… But we welcome Robert Diskin as our new circulation manager. He came to us as a part-time reference assistant from the Pekin and Fondulac libraries—and now he is ours, full-time. Robert is technologically savvy, and libraries need all the savvy they can get, in today’s tech-heavy world.
Finally, at the end of September, our business manager, Sandy Lingenfelter, will retire. She is everyone’s right-hand person, so will be missed. On the other hand, Patti Borland, already at APL as bookkeeper, will move into the business manager’s chair. All of this enough to turn a library director’s hair gray—but it’s already graying, and much of the change is exciting, however temporarily unsettling.
On the building front—well, roof—as I write this on 8/13/14, we anticipate the arrival of contractors and their assistants to begin the process of replacing the roof on the 1985 portion of the building. This will include interior work, too, with skylights being raised, covered over, or installed in new locations. Noise? Yes, a bit. Dust? Well, some.
But—it’s all good. Replacement of the roof is funded in part by a $60,000 “Live & Learn” grant from the Illinois State Library, a department of the office of Secretary of State Jesse White. Secretary White has long been a library supporter, for which librarians all around Illinois are truly grateful.
Inside the library, plans proceed to remove seven computers from the computer room, set them up on a new table in the middle of the library, and convert the computer room into a meeting and study room. We are always short on gathering space. All of this requires the removal of counters, the purchase of new tables and chairs, and other remodeling tasks.
Some readers may remember when we replaced carpet in the large downstairs conference room, via patron donations. We would not object if people—especially those who use the library for meetings or who desire more study space—wish to contribute funds to the cause.
And then there’s the business of equipping a particular corner of the library for the Friends of the Library’s use. The Friends need expanded storage space for books for their ongoing and special book sales. We hope to help the Friends, just as they help us with gifts and special events.
That’s enough change for a couple of months! Meanwhile, keep coming back to your public library.