New Elk Grove library director comes from jobs in Huntley, Arlington Heights
An Arlington Heights native and former Huntley library director has been named the new top librarian in Elk Grove Village.
Patrick McDonald replaces longtime Elk Grove library director Lee Maternowski, who retired in June after 17 years at the helm, and a total of 38 years at the library. McDonald has been on the job for about a week after his hiring was approved unanimously by the library board of trustees.
McDonald, 39, served as director of the Huntley Area Public Library District from 2009 to 2013 and director of library experiences in Arlington Heights before that. For the last 10 months, McDonald served as a staff member of the World Scholar's Cup, an international series of academic competitions for middle and high school students, but he said that job required more traveling than he wanted to do, so he was looking to return to the bookstacks.
He found the open director position at the Elk Grove library, a 63,000-square-foot building in the center of town with a 385,000-item collection and $5.3 million annual budget.
"I'm passionate about our mission as a public library and facilitating access to information for the community," McDonald said. "We want to provide the best possible library service to the community."
The library board contracted with Lynn Elam Consulting to collect applications and do prescreenings of those interested in the Elk Grove library director job. Elam, administrative librarian of the Algonquin Area Public Library, presented the board with a half-dozen finalists, and the board conducted interviews with the top three, according to board President Bruce Barnett.
Board members were impressed by McDonald, Barnett said.
"He's a great communicator," Barnett said. "That's what we like about him."
McDonald will be paid a base salary of $105,000 and will receive the library's standard benefit package.
He says his immediate plans for the library include following through on projects in progress, including lighting improvements throughout the building and concrete repairs at the building entrance.
"Beyond that, I think it's continuing to build on the service we're offering here, staying in touch with the community with what they want and need, and making sure we're providing that."
McDonald received a masters of library science degree from the University of Illinois in 2006, a bachelor's degree from Stanford University, and is a graduate of Hersey High School.