She's been a nun, a social worker and a special needs teacher, but Barbara Adrianopoli probably touched the greatest number of lives through her 34 years as director of extension services for the Schaumburg Township District Library.
Adrianopoli will retire at the end of the month, having raised the bar very high indeed in determining what the library should be doing for residents of the district.
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From having started the library's services for homebound patrons, Adrianopoli has gone on to oversee outreach services for senior living facilities, the Hoffman Estates and Hanover Park branch buildings, book discussion groups for foreign language speakers and, most recently, the central library's new Teen Zone.
"We're not only in the library, we're out in the community," Adrianopoli said. "As long as we keep the human touch -- no matter how the technology changes -- that's what I see as the important thing."
One of her most recent triumphs was establishing the library as the first in the area to host citizenship swearings-in as well as classes. More than 100 new citizens attended the last ceremony.
Adrianopoli said one of the best retirement gifts she's receiving is knowing that the innovation started during her tenure will continue.