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posted: 5/2/2012 5:06 PM

New library director comes from Itasca, starts next week

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  • The Sugar Grove Library.

       The Sugar Grove Library.
    Susan Sarkauskas | Staff Photographer, 2011

 
 

Nine months after it fired its director, the Sugar Grove Library board has picked her replacement.

The board last week hired Carol Dolin, a reference librarian at the Itasca Community Library.

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Her first day in Sugar Grove will be Tuesday. Dolin will be paid $57,000 a year.

"We are really excited," library board President Joan Roth said Wednesday, noting the vote to hire Dolin was unanimous.

At Itasca, Dolin is responsible for the reference and readers' advisory services, and collection development. She has also worked as the business manager at the Deerfield Public Library, and as acquisitions coordinator and programming coordinator at the Indian Trails Public Library in Wheeling.

"She understands where we are coming from," Roth said, referring to the library's recent history of discord.

The board fired its former director, Beverly Holmes Hughes, July 14, 2011. She had worked there for 21 years, and was the 2010 Sugar Grove Citizen of the Year. The firing drew heated criticism from often-raucous crowds at board meetings. Members of the audience repeatedly called on those who fired the director to resign. The Friends of the Sugar Grove Library disbanded in protest; the group had paid for some of the library's programs, raised through the sale of used books and the sale of souvenir materials and pens, pencils, earbuds, USB drives and the like at a counter in the library's cafe.

One of the challenges Dolin will face is financial. The library moved into a new building in 2008. Voters approved borrowing money to build the building on Municipal Drive, but have rejected at least 10 requests to increase the amount of property taxes collected to pay for operations. To stretch its money, the board cut the library's hours. It is open 41 hours per week. The Town and Country Library in Elburn and Messenger Library in North Aurora, in contrast, are open 68 hours a week (64 hours in the summer at Messenger).

Roth said the board intends to ask again -- in two years -- for more money.

"If they (library district residents) want a quality library, we could use a little more money," she said.

Roth praised the two interim directors the library employed, especially the second, Marilyn Boria. "She brought about changes we wanted and ones we didn't even know we needed," Roth said. Boria, now retired, was the former director of the Elmhurst Library.

And Roth sees a brighter future for the Sugar Grove Library.

"We feel we are on an upward spiral," she said.

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