Lake Bluff Library Board Moves up Meeting to Start Search for New Director
Womack accepts executive director position at El Public Library.
Lake Bluff Library Board will meet at 7 p.m. Dec. 6, a week earlier than its normally scheduled meeting, in the wake of Matt Womack tendering his resignation as director this week to accept a position as executive director of Ela Public Library in Lake Zurich.
Lake Bluff Library Board president John Marozsan confirmed Saturday that he met with Womack this week, and his last day will be Dec. 31. Womack will start at Ela on Jan. 9, 2012, replacing Mary Beth Campe, who left in July for a similar position with the Elmhurst Public Library.
"Matt has been fantastic for Lake Bluff," Marozsan said. "We're devastated that we only had him for a year and a half. We have a lot of regret in seeing him leave. He's the type of person you want on your team."
Marozsan said the Ela position was too attractive for Womack to turn down, despite having mixed emotions about leaving Lake Bluff. A resident of Streamwood, Womack spent six years at Ela as head of technical services and a computer-training librarian before taking the post at Lake Bluff in 2010.
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return to the Ela Area Public Library as the new library director," Womack said in a press release. "It's an excellent library with terrific community support, top-notch staff and a commitment to providing area residents with the best in library services. I look forward to building on Ela's great tradition."
Womack also worked in the private sector, where he designed and implemented library information systems for Yale University, University of Illinois and the United Nations.
"Matt will be a great leader for our EAPL team," Ela Library Board president John Shaw said in a press release. "He brings strong leadership and management skills. Additionally, Matt's passion for public libraries, along with his strong vision of integrating traditional library services with new technology, will be great assets, especially with our new media lab currently under construction."
The Ela Library, which opened in 2002, has more than 71,000 square feet of space or considerably bigger than Lake Bluff's. Womack oversaw the recent renovations to the library in the past year, including the creation of a new shared entrance with the Lake Bluff History Museum, new carpeting, new circulation desk, and technology upgrades.
The library board has a Phase II renovation planned for 2014 that includes a specific teen nook, separate yet visible to staff, as well as the square foot expansion for inclusion of a reading area.
At Tuesday's meeting, Marozsan said they would look at naming at interim director while they search for Womack's replacement.
"We will be looking for someone who has the same qualities that Matt brought to the position, someone with strong technology and leadership skills," Marozsan said. "We need to get moving and find someone who hopefully can stay longer than a year and a half."
Marozsan said the library board will also meet Dec. 13 on its regularly scheduled date.