Cook Memorial Library director to retire in June
Cook Memorial Public Library District Stephen Kershner has announced he will retire June 1.
Kershner has led the Libertyville-based district, which has a branch in Vernon Hills, for more than four years.
The timing is right, Kershner told the Daily Herald, because the library district has a newly adopted strategic plan and is preparing for a future that includes "enhanced services, programs, collections and facilities."
Cook Memorial board member Wendy Vieth credited Kershner for shaping the district's programming, managing technology improvements and mentoring the staff, among other accomplishments.
"He's done a great job leading us to where we are today," Vieth said.
Kershner, 65, who lives in Libertyville Township, publicly announced his retirement at a board meeting this week. But officials long had known he wanted to step down soon.
Kershner joined the Cook Memorial staff in September 2010. At the time, officials had just finished building the Vernon Hills branch and were renovating the main library in downtown Libertyville.
When he was hired, Kershner told officials he expected the post would be his last and that he envisioned working at Cook Memorial for between three and five years.
Kershner previously worked at libraries in Florida, Michigan and elsewhere in Illinois.
The library board will name an interim director while it searches for a permanent successor, board President Bonnie Quirke said. That could happen next month.
Quirke said she's "sick" that Kershner is leaving, but praised the management team he built and noted staff morale improved during his tenure.
"He's done a fantastic job," Quirke said.
Kershner said he plans to retire to Florida with his wife.