It’s time to say farewell to a longtime face of the Naperville Public Library. After 15 years, Executive Director Donna Dziedzic is retiring. She attended her final library board meeting this week, and received balloons and flowers honoring her time spent at the library.
Dziedzic came to the Naperville Public Library as a consultant in 1996 when the board was searching for a new Executive Director, but it wasn’t long before she realized she wanted the job for herself.
“When I got here, honestly, I fell in love both with the library and with the community,” said Dziedzic.
During her tenure, Dziedzic helped expand the library system to serve the growing population in South Naperville by opening the 95th Street Library.
“We have added so much to it, that we’ve been able to maintain a very high level of service and reach-literally, physically reach-all of the community,” she said.
For the last ten of Dziedzic’s 15 years, the Naperville Public Library has been ranked number one on the Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings list. When Naperville first received the honor, Dziedzic had never heard of the list.
“We weren’t working towards it,” Dziedzic said. “We were working on, and continue to work under the premise that it’s our responsibility not just to have good libraries into which the public could come, but also good library service to go out to the public. So we worked on that.”
One of the biggest changes for the Naperville Public Library, and libraries around the country over the last 15 years, is ever-changing technology which created a fourth Naperville library: the virtual library.
“She has been on the forefront of making sure that our system and the Naperville residents have the opportunity of making sure they can experience the whole gamat of the new library and the modern library,” said Jerry Feldott, Vice-President of the Naperville Public Library Board of Trustees.
For Dziedzic, the development of technology-from the internet to e-readers-has helped the library grow and she feels that’s a trend that will continue.
“Until all of the books are read by hook, or by crook, or by book, or by nook, the basic thing is that people are reading and people will continue to read whether it’s an electronic format, or a multimedia format, or a book format,” she said.
As Dziedzic prepares to say goodbye to the library on June 30th, she’s confident the library will continue to thrive.
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