Executive director out at Plum library in Lombard

  • Barb Kruser, right, is no longer employed as executive director of the Helen Plum Library in Lombard. Library leadership declined to comment on a reason why.

    Barb Kruser, right, is no longer employed as executive director of the Helen Plum Library in Lombard. Library leadership declined to comment on a reason why. Daily Herald File Photo, 2015

 
 
Updated 1/5/2021 5:35 PM

Barb Kruser is out as executive director at Helen Plum Library, library officials announced, without providing any reason for the leadership change.

Sue Kehoe Wilsey, the library's support services and communications director, did not elaborate on Kruser's Dec. 30 departure that was made in a carefully worded news release Monday.

 

Wilsey also declined to comment during a follow-up telephone call seeking clarification. However, she hinted that more information might be released after the next library board meeting Wednesday, Jan. 20.

In an emailed request for comment, Library Board President Jason Brandt said he had "no additional details share beyond the public statement."

As the board evaluates options for filling the executive director position in the coming weeks, Wilsey said she and assistant director Claudia Krauspe will serve as interim co-directors for the library.

"We thank Barb for her contributions during her tenure," Wilsey said in the news release. "We wish her the best going forward."

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Kruser was hired as executive director in 2014. In November 2016, she was part of a successful ballot initiative in which voters approved a property tax increase to fund a new library building.

Initial plans were to demolish the library at 110 W. Maple St. and build a new facility there. Yet many disputes arose with the Lombard Park District, which owns the neighboring Lilacia Park.

Instead, library officials started reviewing other Lombard locations in November 2019. They ultimately settled on sites that housed the former Mr. Z's Supermarket and a small professional building at 401-425 S. Main St.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the Lombard Village Board will meet to consider the plan commission's rezoning recommendations for the library's planned move to a new $27.8 million facility. Library officials hope to begin construction on the two-story, 50,000-square foot building this summer, with an official opening in fall 2022.

The library is closed to in-person visits due to rising COVID-19 cases in Lombard and the recent need for some staffers to quarantine. Instead, the library is offering pickup service by appointments only. For more information, visit helenplum.org.

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