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posted: 8/21/2014 2:42 PM

Aurora Public Library names new executive director

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  • Daisy Porter-Reynolds is the new director of the Aurora Public Library

    Daisy Porter-Reynolds is the new director of the Aurora Public Library
    Courtesy of Aurora Public Library

Submitted by Aurora Public Library

Daisy Porter-Reynolds of Palatine will succeed Eva Luckinbill as executive director of Aurora Public Library.

Porter-Reynolds is deputy director at Arlington Heights Memorial Library, where she has worked since July, 2012. She will begin her tenure in Aurora in late September.

"I'm delighted to begin working with the staff and board of directors to help Aurora Public Library take its next steps forward," Porter-Reynolds said. "Opening the Santori Library will be a great opportunity for the library to shine, and I'm happy to be a part of it."

John Savage, president of the Aurora Public Library Board of Directors, said Porter-Reynolds worked in leadership positions at the San Jose, Public Library in California from 2006 to 2012 and in the East New Orleans, Louisiana Regional Branch from 2003 to 2005. While in New Orleans, she represented the New Orleans Public Library to the media during regular operations and after Hurricane Katrina.

"She is very focused in the areas of customer service, technology and programming," Savage said of Porter-Reynolds. "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."

Savage said Luckinbill was pivotal in securing the site for the new downtown library and is now overseeing the construction process. "She has expanded community outreach and has helped lead advancements in technology throughout the library system," he added.

"Eva has been a champion of the new downtown library from its inception," said library board Vice-President Jeffry Butler.

Luckinbill will stay on in a consulting role as Director Emeritus, Savage said. "She will be continuing on, doing the things she has been doing as the construction of the Richard and Gina Santori Library moves toward completion. Eva will continue to be an active participant during this exciting time as she oversees the move from the old to the new building and supports Porter-Reynolds as she transitions into the director position."

Porter-Reynolds earned her Master of Library Science Degree in 2003 from the University of Illinois, Champaign. Her undergraduate degree, from Northwestern University in Evanston, is in linguistics and women's studies.

For the past two years at Arlington Heights Memorial Library, she oversaw 190 public service staff members in youth services, reference and information, digital content and training, programming, selection, technical services, circulation, literacy and senior services.

She has presented at library association conferences in Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Porter-Reynolds' book, "Streamlined Library Programming: How to Improve Services and Cut Costs," came out in March of this year. "The Library Innovation Toolkit: Ideas, Strategies, and Programs," is scheduled to come out in February, 2015.

The village of Arlington Heights is a community of 76,000 located about 25 miles northwest of Chicago in Cook County. The Arlington Heights Memorial Library's current building, constructed in 1968, has been expanded from 40,000 square feet to more than 130,000 square feet through the years and was renovated and reorganized most recently in a $2.8 million project begun in 2012. The library is consistently rated as a "five-star" library in Library Journal's national rating of public libraries. Five stars is the highest rating a library can receive and is based on the annual number of library visits, circulation, program attendance and public Internet computer use.

Like Aurora, Arlington Heights has a bookmobile that visits schools and parks.

Luckinbill has served as Aurora Public Library's executive director for 15 years. She was hired in June, 1997, as head of the library's Extension Services Department and was named executive director two years later.

The board of directors began a national search for a new director in the spring using a search firm that exclusively places library directors.

The library has had seven directors beginning in 1881: Mrs. Thomas H. Clark, James Shaw, Julia Fink, Eleanor Plain, Mary Clark Ormond, Janet Plaza and Eva Luckinbill.