During the past year, we’ve reaffirmed that technology and collections—both physical and digital—are core and essential services and functions of our library. And they require greater attention and leadership than ever.
To address these needs, achieve our strategic objectives, and have a more significant and positive effect on our community and staff, we’ve shifted some positions on the library’s leadership team.
Director of Collections
Joining the library’s leadership team is Leigh Tarullo. Previously Manager and Curator of Special Collections, she has been promoted to the new position of Director of Collections.
Leigh has been with our library since 2002. To her new position she brings her 18 years of library experience with the Oak Park community, library collections, community engagement, and public service, plus unique expertise in special collections and archives.
“What excites me about my new role is getting to work with our fantastic collection’s team,” Leigh says. “I’m looking forward to being a part of the great work they are doing in selecting collections that are diverse and inclusive both physically and digitally.”
Ensuring inclusive & diverse collections
In this new role, Leigh is responsible for providing integrated direction, management, and leadership for library collections development, promotion, engagement, preservation, and access. This includes physical and digital resources, archives, and Special Collections.
“By responding to the community’s needs and aspirations, we ensure that our collections are inclusive and diverse through the selection and promotion of materials,” she says. “By viewing our collections through an equitable lens, we can ensure that our community has access to a wide range of materials that are inclusive to the needs of all persons.”
Director of Technology & Project Management
Elizabeth Marszalik, previously Director of Collections and Technology, assumes new responsibilities as Director of Technology and Project Management.
Working together toward digital equity
Elizabeth, who has been with our library since 2014, says that in the last few years she’s learned a lot about digital inequity in our community—and the important role our library plays in providing access to computers, internet, and digital skills.
“As we are more and more dependent on technology in almost every aspect of our lives, it is essential to continue this important work and take it to a higher level than before,” she says.
In her new role, Elizabeth is responsible for leading efforts to provide the library with technology support and services needed to fulfill our mission through effective strategic planning, budgeting, and implementing technology solutions for library services. She is also responsible for collaboration with other organizations and institutions on development of community-wide digital inclusion strategies and initiatives.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to focus more on meeting our community’s technological needs and aspirations and collaborating with other local technology leaders and organizations toward digital equity,” Elizabeth says. “I strongly believe that by working together we can achieve much more than individually.”
Collaborating on major projects
Elizabeth also is responsible for building a project management culture, which she says will help the library’s effectiveness. She will also provide leadership for major projects impacting multiple, strategic core functions and components across the library.
One example is the Aspen Project, which is building a future library catalog for better access to physical and digital resources. The SWAN library consortium leads this project, with several pilot project libraries including ours participating.
“Another example may be high-impact projects including complex changes to the library’s public spaces for technology, collections, public services, and programs,” Elizabeth says. “These types of projects require a high level of collaboration across multiple service areas and communication with stakeholders.”
Manager of Special Collections and Materials Handling
Kathleen Spale, previously Manager of Access Services, is now our Manager of Special Collections and Materials Handling.
Kathleen has been with the library since 2016. In her new role, she assumes responsibility for the acquisition, preservation, public service, and outreach activities of the library’s Special Collections, including the Hemingway Archives.
“I look forward to highlighting the varied and diverse ways that members of the community can connect with the library’s collections,” she says. “I want to explore new opportunities to share and expand awareness and usage of the library’s Special Collections and continue to support staff in increasing access to the library’s circulating current collections.”
Preserving history & empowering more voices
Kathleen also will collaborate on local history, genealogy, and multicultural collections and resources, including building relationships and partnerships with area historical and cultural organizations, to support the preservation of the community’s cultural heritage.
She says she looks forward “to celebrating the history of Oak Park, including influential figures such as Hemingway,” Kathleen says. “While at the same time, expanding the past and present voices of Oak Park that shaped the history and current community.”
Kathleen also will continue to support our library’s Materials Handling Clerks, who have been working very hard to process large volumes of circulating library materials and “have had to be extremely flexible to adapt to the different service levels during the past year,” she says.