The Naperville community's significant support for Naperville Public Library is one main reason Lynn Hoffman wanted to become the new deputy director at the five-star-rated library.
"Naperville Public Library has a tremendous reputation, and the level of support it receives from the community is enviable," said Hoffman, who officially started as deputy director Jan. 6. "I am looking forward to serving a community where its people have looked at the cost and benefit equation and decided that it's worth paying the price for high-quality library service."
Hoffman, who will work out of Nichols Library, received a bachelor's degree in English from Boston University and a master's degree in library and information science from the University of Iowa. For more than 15 years, she has worked in the library setting, starting as a children's librarian and moving to a variety of positions in public service and administration throughout her career. Hoffman said she is excited to impart new initiatives while serving as deputy director.
"I'm always interested in finding ways to automate and streamline the more mechanical and transactional aspects of library work so that staff can spend more of their time providing one-on-one assistance and expertise to our customers, and so I'd like to explore whether radio-frequency identification would be a good fit for NPL," she said. "I'm also enthusiastic about the new ways public libraries are providing learning and discovery experiences for visitors, and I think NPL is a great incubator for those kinds of ideas."
Hoffman, who moved from Green Bay, Wis. to take the position, has a wide range of hobbies including baking, web design, neuroscience and watercoloring. She and her husband Mike have a retired racing Greyhound named Stella.
Hoffman succeeded current Executive Director Julie Rothenfluh, who took the position after former Executive Director John Spears resigned. The library board approved the hiring of Rothenfluh in August.
Since Rothenfluh started her new position, she has initiated projects like the BiblioTek concept, a work in progress that will provide research resources, branding ideas as well as space for entrepreneurs, innovators and business people.
Another effort Rothenfluh has helped spearhead is the development of the digital media lab, a project expected to be implemented in February that will provide space and resources for patrons who want to use software like Adobe programs or equipment like a 3D scanner and printer.
A future initiative Rothenfluh wishes to introduce is a strategic plan that details key steps to improve relations with the community.
"We will be asking community members what the library can do to integrate into the community," Rothenfluh said.
Space reclamation is another future project Rothenfluh wants to employ. Since many print references are available online, she said there's not the same need for a print reference section at the library.
"The print reference collection has been reduced significantly and that is going to free up space," she said, adding that the additional space will be reserved for group meetings and general public use.
Along with the new changes in the executive and deputy director positions, three new managerial changes have been announced.
Karen Dunford transferred as library manager of Naper Blvd. Library to 95th Street Library. Olya Tymciurak transferred as library manager of 95th Street Library to Nichols Library. Dave Della Terza was promoted from computer lab supervisor to library manager of Naper Blvd. Library.
"What was most exciting for the executive team and me is we were able to see the great talent we have internally and give them opportunity to bring their experience to new roles," Rothenfluh said.