New director’s goal: Attract more people to library

By on July 24, 2009

Martin wants patrons to know about facility’s fresh looks, new books
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Library has a new look, new offerings and a new director.

Kim Martin became the library’s head June 1, and since then has overseen a reorganization of the library designed to make it more user friendly.

She saw the job posting last spring and decided to apply.

“I love the library and I thought I could bring something more to it than someone just looking for a paycheck,” she said.

Martin graduated from Kaneland High School in 1995. With five children, she spent the past 12 years as a stay-at-home mom. She is not a certified librarian. However, she plans to take Library Technical Assistant (LTA) courses online through College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. Next June, she will attend the week-long Small Public Library Management Institute in Bradley, Ill.

Before becoming library director, Martin trained for seven weeks with Sukey Blake.

The library is located in the Community Center in a four-room space in the building’s basement. It was closed for 2-1/2 weeks in June for the reorganization project.

The project included expanding a reading and computer room by removing old cabinets that used to occupy half its space.

Also new at the library will be eight computers the library purchased in May with a grant.

“Every area has been reorganized,” Martin said.

Patrons now can see that the library has books on tape along one wall that was not easily visible before. Several new shelves are featured throughout the library, donated by the Library Friends.

In her new role, Martin is working to add and promote new programs such as a book club and materials including more books for young adults, such as the “Bone” series, “Hunger Game” and the “Twilight” series.

“We want to bring patrons back in here who maybe haven’t been here in awhile who don’t know that we have new materials,” Martin said.

Hometown hire
Twenty people applied for the 30-hour-per-week Maple Park Public Library position vacated by former Library Director Sukey Blake, who retired. Of those, the Library Board was most impressed with Kim Martin (nee Signorella), a lifelong resident of the village.

Library Board President Beth Miller particularly liked that Martin was informed and concerned about handicapped accessibility issues.

“Kim is really passionate about that,” Miller said.

The library is working to upgrade its accessibility for people with disabilities.

Photo: New Maple Park Library Director Kim Martin assists Jane Ostrom in checking out a book. Photo by Martha Quetsch