New director hired for Lake Villa District Library

  • Lake Villa District Library board has hired Mikael (Mick) Jacobsen as Library Director with a start date of May 11.

    Lake Villa District Library board has hired Mikael (Mick) Jacobsen as Library Director with a start date of May 11.

Updated 4/28/2020 5:19 PM

The Lake Villa District Library board didn't need to look far to find a new top administrator.

Mikael 'Mick' Jacobsen, director at the Zion-Benton Public Library District, has been chosen from among 20 candidates to fill that position in Lake Villa.


Jacobsen was signed to a two-year contract at an annual salary of $112,000. He starts May 11 and will take over for Andy Lentine, who is retiring.

Lentine began her tenure at the Lake Villa library 1991, worked her way through the system and was appointed director in November 2013.

That's when planning began in earnest to replace the familiar library at Grand Avenue and Deep Lake Road in Lake Villa that had become inadequate for modern needs.

The new $18 million library building more than twice the size of the former facility opened last summer on 29 acres at 140 N. Munn Road fronting Crooked Lake in Lindenhurst.

As director, Lentine oversaw the construction and selection of the interior design elements of the new library. She retired in January but has been working part-time until a successor was named.

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The library board contracted with HR Source of Downers Grove to conduct the search. It was predominantly statewide but the opening was posted to various library-systems that could have had a national reach, according to Nina Kenney, the library district's public relations/marketing coordinator.

Jacobsen has led the Zion-Benton library district since 2018. Before that, he worked at the Skokie Public Library for nearly 10 years in a variety of roles, most recently as learning experiences manager, according to Kenney.

"He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help to further expand library service for our community," library board President Tony Gundrum said in announcing the hire.

Jacobsen lives in Winthrop Harbor. He received his master of library and information science degree from Dominican University and holds a B.S. in history and philosophy from Knox College.

The Lake Villa District Library has been closed and staff working remotely since mid-March. Jacobsen was not immediately available for comment Tuesday but said through Kenney he was eager to meet staff even if it's through Zoom.

The Lake Villa District Library has a staff of 60 serving about 40,000 residents in Lake Villa and Lindenhurst and parts of Round Lake Heights, Round Lake Beach and Antioch.

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