The Aurora Public Library system's new executive director says she's excited about serving "a more urban area" during a key time of transition.
Daisy Porter-Reynolds, the deputy director of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, will begin her new duties in late September making $128,000 annually.
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Before settling in Arlington Heights in 2012, Porter-Reynolds held leadership positions at the San Jose Public Library from 2006 to 2012 and in the East New Orleans Regional Branch from 2003 to 2005.
"I love working in Arlington Heights but the Aurora position opened at a great time professionally and will let me get back to serving a more urban area like San Jose and New Orleans that I enjoyed so much," she said. "I envision Aurora to be very similar to San Jose in terms of demographics.
"Arlington Heights is a very well-read community and people here love their books, but Aurora is a community with a new library that is poised on the brink of greatness."
She pledges to spend her first 100 days exploring and learning the community and her new constituents.
Porter-Reynolds will replace Eva Luckinbill, who has served as Aurora's executive director for the past 15 years. According to the city's 2014 budget, Luckinbill's salary was $118,352.
Luckinbill, who played a key role in securing the site for the new downtown library and is overseeing its construction, will remain with the library in a consulting role as director emeritus, officials said Thursday.
"I am delighted Eva will be sticking around. She is very highly regarded and lives in the community so I know she'll make my transition very smooth," Porter-Reynolds said. "It's so great that she has the desire to focus on the new library. Then I can focus on getting to know my staff and the community and get up to speed on what their priorities are."
Porter-Reynolds, a Palatine resident, said library board members would like her to move to Aurora to help with the transition, but she's not sure if a move is in her future.
"My husband and I are first-time homeowners and we've only been in our first home for about a year," she said. "I haven't ruled it out, but I'm going to try to commute at first and see how that goes."
The library board began a nationwide search for Luckinbill's replacement this spring. Porter-Reynolds has been working in Arlington Heights since July 2012 where she oversees 190 staff members in youth services, reference and information, digital content and training, programming, selection, technical services, circulation, literacy and senior services.
"(Porter-Reynolds) is very focused in the areas of customer service, technology and programming," Aurora board President John Savage said. "She also has a strong focus on building partnerships with schools, the business community and various ethnic groups, which are important traits as we go into the next phase of what the Aurora Public Library system will provide to this community going forward."
She will become only the eighth executive director at the Aurora Library since 1881.