Marilyn Boria already helped quell tempers at the Sugar Grove Public Library when its board of trustees hired her as interim director after ousting its director last year.
Now Boria will be tasked with doing the same in Carol Stream, where the library board voted Wednesday to hire her until it can find a permanent replacement for Ann Kennedy, whose controversial firing has also set off tempers in and around the library and village.
Boria retired as director of the Elmhurst Public Library in July 2011 after 27 years, and a month later was hired on an interim basis in Sugar Grove.
She will likely work 20 hours a week in Carol Stream at an hourly rate, which wasn't released Wednesday night. She said she would be immediately available to start, though her contract must still be finalized.
Mary Clemens has been serving as interim library director but will now return full-time to her position as head of youth services.
In an interview with the Carol Stream library board Wednesday, Boria said the Sugar Grove appointment lasted longer than she thought -- a total of 9 months -- but in that time she was able to help build morale and handle the library's finances, including putting together the annual budget.
"My goal in going there was to bring people together again and to put them on the right track," Boria said.
The Sugar Grove library board fired its director, Beverly Holmes Hughes, in July 2011, after 21 years working there. Board members said there had been increasing tensions with Holmes, who they said spent money without their approval and didn't provide financial information to their satisfaction.
Kennedy, who spent six years as director and a total of 20 years at the Carol Stream library, was fired July 25 in a 4-2 vote at the recommendation of Board President Mike Wade, a longtime opponent of Kennedy's plans to build a new library.
He said Kennedy's firing was prompted by communication issues with her.
Kennedy, though, called her firing "personal" because Wade's voting majority included David DeRango and Dominick Jeffrey -- whose significant others filed lawsuits against the library after Kennedy fired them as circulation desk clerks.
As interim director, Boria said she would work with the library's staff and make decisions "as a team" to make sure the library is serving the community.
"I like to solve problems. If you don't want a solution, don't tell me you have a problem, because I'm already looking for solutions," Boria said.
Also Wednesday, the board hired search firm Alice Calabrese Berry Consulting to conduct a search for a permanent director. Berry, the former executive director of the Metropolitan Library System and current president of the River Forest Public Library board, also has a connection to Sugar Grove, where the library board hired her to find a new director.
"It was a situation that needed a lot of communication with the community and a lot of building with the board," Berry said during a presentation to the Carol Stream library board. "Before you enter into looking for a new director, you have to take several steps to gain trust with that community. You hire for the culture of your community and the culture of your board."
Berry's fee is $100 an hour, which could amount to between $7,000 and $10,000 for a library the size of Carol Stream's, she said.
The board also heard a presentation from Lynn Elam Consulting, whose fee ranged from $100 an hour for basic search services, up to a total of $16,000 for a full-service search.
Berry recommended Boria to the board as a candidate for interim director, and Elam recommended former Naperville library director Donna Dziedzic as an interim candidate. Dziedzic also interviewed with the board Wednesday, but she had said she preferred to work through the search firm that recommended her, according to Wade.
He said Boria is willing to contract directly with the library.