The Ela Area Public Library Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of a new executive director, Lauren Rosenthal. Most recently the director of the Fox River Valley Public Library District, Rosenthal will officially take the reins of day-to-day library operations beginning January 4, 2021, replacing Interim Director Erica Christianson, who will resume her duties as the Library’s Assistant Director.
“Lauren has a depth of library experience having worked in children’s, adult and outreach services during her career," said Christianson. "All of these different experiences, along with her strong financial background, give her a range of understanding of the work that we do in libraries."
Rosenthal has been an active leader in the library community. During her six-year tenure at Fox River Valley Public Libraries, she oversaw a revamping of library services and programs to comply with safe opening guidelines during an unprecedented service disruption due to the pandemic, introduced home delivery of library materials, license plate renewals, elimination of late fees, and expanded notary public and USDA free meal services to area residents.
Rosenthal has made significant contributions during her library career including receiving the first Government Finance Officers Association Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting. She also established an upgrade to transparency reporting at the Fox River Valley Public Library District, making it the first library in the nation to use the OpenGov platform.
When asked about the role of our library in time to come, Rosenthal commented, “I’m looking forward to seeing what additional value-added services we can offer the community. I’m eager to work with the amazing staff who have kept library service a priority throughout COVID-19 and see what we can do together.”
Rosenthal’s appointment comes after a seven-month, nationwide search following the retirement of previous Executive Director Matt Womack. The search was headed by members of Ela Area Public Library District Board of Trustees, with input from library staff.