Longtime Aurora Public Library Executive Director Eva Luckinbill has announced she will retire before the end of the year after roughly 17 years with the library, including nearly 15 as director.
Luckinbill joined the library staff in June 1997 as head of what is now called Outreach Services, and was named director in April 1999.
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Library board President John Savage said the board will hire a consulting firm before the end of February to begin the search for Luckinbill's replacement.
"This is going to be a national search and we anticipate we will get extremely qualified candidates for the job," Savage said.
He said the board and Luckinbill have been discussing a succession plan for several months in order to have a leadership team in place for the projected opening of the downtown Richard and Gina Santori Public Library of Aurora in May 2015.
Savage said Luckinbill "was instrumental in securing the site for the new library and is now overseeing the construction process, has expanded community outreach (including the procurement of a new bookmobile), oversaw the opening of the new Express Center, and has helped to lead advancements in technology throughout the entire library system."
Officials hope to have a new director in place by midsummer, Savage said, and Luckinbill will assist in assuring a smooth transition.
"Once the new facility is open and the celebrations have ended, the liaison relationship will end and I will become a patron," Luckinbill said.
As the library's executive director, Luckinbill led the construction of the two-story portion of the Eola Road Branch and oversaw three remodeling projects at Eola Road Branch, one of which was just completed. The West Branch currently is undergoing remodeling.
She also is credited with:
• playing a key role in applying for a state grant that resulted in a $10.8 million construction grant for the new Main Library;
• overseeing the development and opening of the Express Center at Church Road and Edison Avenue;
• encouraging staff involvement in community organizations like SPARK (Strong, Prepared and Ready for Kindergarten) and in collaborative programming with SciTech Hands On Museum; and
• working with the library board to develop and implement two strategic plans.
The library has had eight directors since it was established in 1838. The first was Burr Winton, who also served as the city's postmaster.