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updated: 12/7/2010 6:07 PM

Algonquin hires new library director

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  • Lynn Elam, new administrative director for the Algonquin Area Public Library. Photo courtesy of Lynn Elam.

    Lynn Elam, new administrative director for the Algonquin Area Public Library. Photo courtesy of Lynn Elam.
    Photo courtesy of Lynn Elam


The Algonquin Area Public Library District has snagged the president-elect of a statewide library group to lead its own system into the future.

Lynn Elam, formerly head librarian of the Hinsdale Public Library, started the administrative librarian job last Wednesday by meeting with stakeholders.

Elam, a Batavia resident, replaces Randy Vlcek, who retired Friday after 25 years.

More than 30 people applied for the position, officials said.

"I'm delighted to be here and I've had a very warm welcome so far and I expect great things for the library," Elam said.

As president-elect of the Illinois Library Association, a statewide group that promotes libraries and its services, Elam, its current vice president, says Algonquin will be part of the "leading edge" of the decisions that are affecting all libraries in the state.

Her employers view her ties with the ILA as an enormous asset that will benefit Algonquin her three-year term with ILA begins in July.

"She's plugged into the pipeline to find out what's going on in the state and that's going to be very, very important for us," said Algonquin Area Library Board President Lynn Hammerlund.

Elam will make $115,000 a year in her new position and will also get 25 vacation days a year, Hammerlund said.

Right now, the library collects roughly $8 million in taxes, is not facing any financial challenges and has not had to cut its programs or any of its 76 employees, Hammerlund said.

But fortunes may change if foreclosures continue to rise, she said.

Elam recognizes more and more people will use the library as the turbulent economy wears on, for resume building, computer workshops and Internet usage and says that the library needs to do what it can to provide for them.

She also wants to focus on increasing the library's profile on social media networks, like Facebook and Twitter the library will be ready to unveil those profiles within the next few weeks, she said.

"Libraries really have to keep pace with what's happening in the larger world," Elam said.

The library district serves 40,000 people in Algonquin, Lake in the Hills and parts of Kane and McHenry counties.

It operates a main location on Harnish Drive and an east side branch on Eastgate Drive.