Top library job receiving strong interest

By Bob Seidenberg

Evanston Public Library trustees’ search for a new executive library director is fanning plenty of interest, based on the number of applicants who responded to a posting for the job.

As of July 14, 161 applications had been received, EPL Board President Tracy Fulce reported at the board’s regular meeting on July 19.

Of that total, 38 applications qualified for resume review and 31 applicants were invited to a first round of interviews, Fulce said. She said 12 to 13 applicants were then recommended for second-round interviews.

“Those interviews began yesterday and will continue through this week,” Fulce said in her report.

The trustees’ plan calls for paring down the field, with the final round slated for the first week of August, when final interviews will be held.

The board has taken a deliberate approach to finding a successor to Karen Danczak Lyons, who retired June 17, 2022, after nearly a decade in the job.

In the meantime, Heather Norborg, EPL’s manager of lifelong literacy and learning, has been serving as interim director.

In fall of last year, more than 300 people responded to surveys from the Library Board soliciting feedback from residents, staff and volunteers.

Community and staff members ranked relationship-building, experience as a public librarian and being a transparent communicator as qualities they would most like to see in the city’s next executive library director.

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