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updated: 8/27/2014 6:53 PM

Sugar Grove library director leaving for Zion-Benton

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  • The director of the Sugar Grove Library is quitting to take a full-time job at the Zion-Benton Library.

       The director of the Sugar Grove Library is quitting to take a full-time job at the Zion-Benton Library.
    Susan Sarkauskas | Staff Photographer, 2011

 
 

The Sugar Grove Library director is quitting to take a full-time job elsewhere.

"It's been a lot of fun to work here. It's not that I don't enjoy what I'm doing," Carol Dolin said Wednesday.

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But, she said, she needs full-time work.

She starts her new job as director of the Zion-Benton Library in October.

"It is full-time, and the library is better supported," as well as closer to her home, said Dolin.

Her last day in Sugar Grove is not finalized. The library board will discuss her resignation today.

Dolin was on a 30-hour-a-week contract, at an annual salary of $57,000. She said she received no insurance or retirement benefits, and that she routinely put in more than 30 hours a week.

"We have no benefits, no full-time staff," she said. The library is open only 50 hours a week and closed on Friday, unlike many nearby libraries.

Voters refused in April to increase the operating taxes for the library. It was the 13th time they have refused to do so. After the rejection, library treasurer Louise Coffman summarized a resident survey as: "Would you like books or light bulbs? Because you can't have both."

"The light bulb issue was not an exaggeration," Dolin said. She has been seeking grant money to replace the library's lighting system.

Building costs, including maintenance and utilities, eat up money that could be used for books and other materials, or for keeping the library open more. A leaky roof recently joined the fix-it list, according to Dolin. After the last referendum, the library stopped buying new books for the adult collection for several months. It also started charging all groups that rent the library's community room, not just businesses and nonresidents.

Dolin joined the library in May 2012, nearly a year after the library board fired longtime director Beverly Holmes Hughes. Hughes' firing was the subject of much public -- sometimes raucous -- protest, with people shouting at library board members and picketing meetings. The Friends of the Sugar Grove Library disbanded in protest.

But calmer times prevailed once several board members stepped down and former critics replaced them.

On Thursday, the board will also vote on its 2015 budget.

And it will discuss a board vacancy. Daniel Herkes of Sugar Grove, who was the board's president, resigned in July due to increasing commitments at his job, according to Dolin. Anthony Oliver is now president.

Oliver and Herkes were not available for comment Wednesday.

The person appointed to fill Herkes' spot will serve through the end of April 2015. The remainder of his term, which expires in 2017, will be filled in the April election. Dolin said one person has applied.

Dolin praised the staff and trustees. She noted the Library Friends group is resuming, and mentioned the landscaping work several trustees and volunteers have done.

"Everybody is getting along now," she said.

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