Gurnee's Warren-Newport library board prepares to seek new director
Board members at Warren-Newport Public Library District in Gurnee are forming a plan to find a new executive director who would start this summer.
Stephen Bero, the library's boss since 2004, said he'll retire July 31. He said he recently announced his departure so the library board will have plenty of time to hire a new executive director.
At a nonvoting personnel committee meeting this week, board President Socrates Rivers and other elected officials agreed a consultant should be hired to narrow the applicant field.
Provided final approval is gained at the March 18 library board session, formal requests for proposals will be published seeking consultants specializing in library administrator searches.
Bero said competition for the job will depend on how many firms submit proposals to the library. Board members will decide the time frame for the process of hiring the new library chief.
"Ideally, you're looking at conducting interviews with final candidates in June," Bero told the elected officials.
Board members received some tips from Bero on important information to gather when trying to decide which consulting firm to hire.
For example, Bero said, the officials should get a handle on the current and expected workloads of the consultants for the next few months.
"We want somebody that is going to have the time and the resources necessary to devote fully (to Warren-Newport)," Bero said. "And a good consultant may very well say, 'You know what, my plate is too full right now, I've got to turn it down.'"
Bero, 59, cited a desire to spend more time with his family and to pursue other interests as reasons for his decision to retire. One of the significant developments during his tenure was a renovation and expansion of the O'Plaine Road library that was completed in 2011.
With his wife planning to re-enter the workforce, Bero said he expects to be a "househusband" in the daytime. The couple has a son entering first grade next fall and a 1-year-old boy.
Founded by volunteers in 1973, Warren-Newport Public Library serves about 67,000 residents. The library's 55-square-mile boundary covers all or most of Warren and Newport townships, including Gurnee, Wadsworth, Park City, Wildwood, Grandwood Park, Old Mill Creek, and portions of Grayslake, Millburn, Lake Villa, Libertyville and Waukegan.