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Indian Trails Director Focuses on Technology

David Seleb, the library's new director, said website improvements and strategic planning will help the library progress.

Technology will be a priority at , as its new leader takes the facility into 2012.

David Seleb, who Nov. 1, said he is excited about the opportunities ahead. He plans to strengthen Indian Trails’ online presence and continue to embrace technological advances as patrons’ needs evolve.

In the coming months, Seleb will lead the library in creating a strategic plan that will outline specific goals. He said he expects dedicated technology centers and training rooms to be among the ideas discussed.

“It’s been a few years since the library has done some strategic planning,” Seleb said. “That will be a major undertaking in 2012.”

“We’re still committed to providing the resources our patrons expect.,” he said, referring to print materials. “But we need to make sure we keep pace with technology, too.”

It was the opportunity to lead the library in such changes that attracted Seleb to the district.

“Indian Trails Library has a great reputation for service to its communities. I wanted to be part of a growing library district and hopefully do a lot to help the library grow and improve even more,” he said.

Seleb previously spent four years at the helm of the Winnetka-Northfield Library. In all, he has 22 years of library experience.

“The profession has changed so tremendously since I started. We used computers for so little. We had the card catalog. The only thing I used the computer for was some word processing,” he said.

While he’s excited to embrace further changes, Seleb said he made few during his first weeks on the job. Instead, he’s focused on learning about Indian Trails’ current services and from residents.

While programmatic changes have not yet been implemented, organizational ones are underway. In a recent staff reorganization, Seleb eliminated three positions — associate director of public services, associate director of communication services and the library’s public relations manager.

The changes were not made for financial reasons, Seleb said, but because he believes they will facilitate his work with the library’s management team. Most department heads previously reported to one of the associate directors. Under the new structure, all eight department heads, including a new communications leader, will report directly to Seleb.

A situation he has less control over is the ongoing dispute stemming from Indian Trails’ last spring. Its passage boosted the district’s levy to fund .

Buffalo Grove resident Rob Sherman with the State Board of Elections regarding materials mailed to residents prior to election day and in an effort to have the election results voided. The , and Sherman filed an appeal brief last week. The matter also remains unresolved with the State Board of Elections.

In the meantime, revenue generated by the levy increase will likely be kept in reserve, Seleb said.

Lawyers have cautioned that it could take a year or two for the matter to be resolved, he said. Seleb said he and library’s attorneys are confident that the library will prevail.

Even with that confidence, Indian Trails officials aren’t ready to move forward with facility improvements, he said.

“Even if we thought we could spend it today, we still have to do a little more investigating with the community about what it wants and needs,” Seleb said.

Demand is on the rise at Indian Trails, which circulated 1.3 million items in 2011. Of the library’s 65,000 residents, about 70 percent hold library cards, he said.

“I know that the library is very well used,” he said. “We are a destination place and I want to make sure we stay that place for our patrons. That probably means spending our resources more and more wisely so we can best serve our patrons.”

Michael Yublosky January 11, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Welcome to the neighborhood David, or rather Mr. Seleb. I have been a volunteer presenter at Indian Trails Public Library over the past 15+ years. For the past two years I presented programs revolving around the Internet and marketing for small businesses. Since early 2011 I have presented, and continue to do so, a regular monthly program for job seekers to use Social Media in job search and programs on using LinkedIn and WordPress publishing for small business people and job seekers. I applaud your efforts and foresight to help bring the library patrons into the 21st century. Academia is finally awakening to the shifting pendulum and paradigm shift in the way the world communicates and operates. Hopefully we still have time and can 'catch' up with the rest of the world in that regard. Together we can make this wonderful country of ours once more the leader in education and information as well as affording its people the ability to work in modern age jobs! Synergy through collaboration offers wonderful dividends!

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