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Sugar Grove hires new library director

SUGAR GROVE – The Sugar Grove Public Library Board recently voted to hire Carol A. Dolin as the library’s new director.

Dolin, a reference librarian at Itasca Community Library in Itasca, is expected to begin her new duties in Sugar Grove on Tuesday.

“I’m just very excited to get going,” Dolin said. “I look forward to working with all our stakeholders to build a vision that inspires the community to provide the additional support we need to offer the library – materials, programs and services – to use the facility’s full potential.”

Board President Joan Roth said the seven-member board was unanimous in choosing Dolin.

“She was the one everybody liked for the job,” Roth said. “She seems very capable, very ambitious [and] on top of things.”

The board especially liked Dolin because of her work with referendums.

“We need to pass [a rate increase] in the next two years because there is not enough money,” Roth said. “It’s affecting all libraries. She understands our needs and our concerns, and I think she will do an excellent job communicating to the board.”

Voters in the Sugar Grove Public Library District have turned down 10 consecutive referendums. The last was in 2010.

Dolin’s annual salary and benefits package is $57,000, Roth said. It does not include a contract, but Roth said the board plans to talk about it in six months, then in a year to see how things are going.

“A contract could be issued,” Roth said. “This is all new. None of us have hired a director before.”

The board hired Alice Calabrese-Berry to aid in an executive search. Roth said she weeded out applicants who were not qualified and reduced the number to four for the board to consider.

“This was the standout,” Roth said of Dolin. “We did four interviews, and and we decided we thought Carol was the person for the job. We brought her back for a second interview and staff had a chance to meet and interview her also.”

The library district was in an uproar last year over the firing of previous longtime director Beverly Holmes-Hughes on July 14. Meetings were tumultuous as supporters of Holmes-Hughes turned out to demand her reinstatement.

By January, the board settled with Holmes-Hughes, paying her a lump sum of $37,500 in addition to the $16,093.75 of post-employment compensation Hughes received in August for unpaid, accrued vacation and personal time, according to the agreement.

She has since taken another job.

Dolin acknowledged the controversy and passions aroused by Holmes-Hughes’ firing.

“I hope we are able to put the hurt feelings behind us to build a strong and vibrant community-centered public library and move into the future,” Dolin said. “I’m looking to build a vision we can all get on board with and put the painful past behind us and just move forward and do what’s best for the community.”

Previously, Dolin worked as business manager at the Deerfield Public Library and as acquisitions and programming coordinator at the Indian Trails Public Library District in Wheeling. She has a degree in administrative studies from Roosevelt University and a master’s degree in library and information science from Dominican University.

The board asked interim director Marilyn Boria to stay on and help Dolin get acclimated.

After Dolin starts, the library will host an open house for her with punch and cookies so the community can meet her, Roth said.

“We just feel that this is a step forward,” Roth said. “We are happy.”

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