Rolling Meadows resident becomes city's new head librarian

A Rolling Meadows resident who has spent three decades working in libraries is the city's new head librarian.

Kevin Medows, who started as a university music librarian before several positions in technology for public libraries, was named executive director of the Rolling Meadows Library following a search and interview process by the library board. He doesn't have an employment contract, but is considered an at-will employee of the library.

"The job at Rolling Meadows is a golden opportunity to pay forward the support and knowledge that has been shared with me over the years by other library leaders," Medows said.

Medows, who took the helm late last month, is tasked with overseeing management of a $3.9 million budget, providing direction to 55 employees, and reporting to a nine-member board appointed by the city's mayor. Medows replaces David Ruff, who retired after 21 years in January.

Medows started his career working in music collections at Indiana University, the University of Illinois and Northwestern University. But while working a second job part-time at the Northbrook Public Library, he got into public libraries, making stops along the way at the Warren-Newport Public Library in Gurnee, Joliet (where he was executive director from 2013 to 2016), the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich and Mount Prospect.

Those more recent roles involved improving patrons' experiences in using library technology, especially electronic resources like databases, e-books and library catalogs.

Medows, an Oak Lawn native, has been living in the North and Northwest suburbs for the last two decades, spending the last 13 years in Rolling Meadows.

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