Helen Plum Library executive director to retire in September

Helen Plum Library Executive Director Claudia Krauspe recently informed the board of trustees of her intent to retire in September 2023.

The board reached a consensus to appoint current Assistant Director, Anne Luzeniecki, as interim director to succeed Krauspe upon her retirement. The vote to approve this appointment will be on the agenda for the Aug. 22, board meeting.

Krauspe noted: "It has been my privilege to serve the people of Lombard as an employee of the Helen Plum Library, to work alongside enthusiastic and talented library staff, and to share the vision of a 21st century library with dedicated and supportive library trustees. I have treasured the friendships formed through the years with patrons and staff and have had the pleasure of seeing preschoolers from my early storytime years return to the library now as college students with amazing careers on the horizon."

During her 22-year career at the Lombard library, Krauspe held successively increasing leadership roles. In 2010, she was named Head of Youth Services, and over the next eight years, her responsibilities expanded to include the duties and tasks associated with the assistant director, a position she was officially named to in January 2018.

Krauspe served successively as acting and interim executive director in 2020 and 2021, providing the library with wise and steady leadership, steering the complicated sale of bonds to finance the new building project, onboarding three new library trustees, and being at the helm of the construction project.

Throughout, she continued to guide staff as they modified and expanded library services while working under the constraints of the pandemic. The board announced her role as the executive director in December 2021, where she provided the library with continuity and stability through the completion of the new building project and during the transition into the new space.

In March 2023, Krauspe collaborated with the library board and representatives from the Lombard Park District and Village of Lombard to develop agreements related to the transfer of the Maple Street properties owned by the Helen Plum Library. The library board agreed that this fiscally responsible agreement serves the best interests of the Lombard community and aligns with the mission of the Helen Plum Library.

The achievement dearest to Krauspe's heart during her career at Helen Plum was the opening of the Robin's Nest early literacy learning and play space in the old Maple Street Library, made possible by a memorial donation from the Carole Anne Robbins Trust. This area, which has been greatly expanded in the new Main Street building, emphasizes early literacy development skills and narrative play, offering an essential learning experience for our youngest library patrons.

Helen Plum Library Board President Allison Pinkett-Floyd said "The board is deeply grateful for Claudia's leadership, dedication, and consummate professionalism over these past 3 years as our executive director and decades of service overall. All of Lombard is richer for Claudia's constant focus on the library's future and we wish her every happiness as she turns her attention to her own 'next chapter' in life."

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