Nearly six months after its former director abruptly resigned in the wake of a controversial tax hike referendum, the Indian Trails Public Library District has chosen its new leader.
Library trustees this week announced the hiring of David Seleb, currently head of the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District, as its new library director. Seleb will begin work at the Wheeling-based library district Nov. 1.
"I'm excited for the opportunity to work for a staff and a library with a fantastic reputation for service and innovation," Seleb said. "I'm excited about working in a diverse community that supports the library and holds it in high regard and I'm looking forward to working for a board of trustees and the staff that does so much for the people of the community."
Wally Salganik, president of the library's board of trustees, said Seleb has a proven track record in providing effective leadership to previous libraries and communities. He has 22 years experience at libraries around the Chicago area.
Seleb replaces Tom Simiele, who stepped down in April after about a year and half at the in the job. Michael Madden has been serving as interim director since the summer.
Since Simiele's departure, the Illinois State Board of Elections has ruled that a complaint claiming that the district improperly used taxpayer money to advocate for a tax-hike measure narrowly approved by voters in April was justified.
Simiele stepped down one day after the referendum passed by just 144 votes, but said his resignation was planned and had nothing to do with the ensuing allegations. A lawsuit to overturn the election results was later thrown out of court.
Seleb said he is prepared to do whatever is needed to ensure the library succeeds.
"We'll be working very closely with the staff and the community to reassure them that they have a leader that will support their work," he said.
According to the offer made from the Indian Trails board of trustees, Seleb will be paid $115,300 annually and receive a $100 monthly mileage stipend.
Seleb has a Master of Library and Information Science from Dominican University in River Forest.
Indian Trails Public Library District serves a population of about 67,000 people living in Wheeling, parts of Buffalo Grove and Prospect Heights, and a few households in Northbrook and Arlington Heights.