Written by Jack McCarthy   
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00


library-1 COLOR

Retiring St. Charles Library director Diana Brown greets a well-wisher during Sunday's reception saluting her 39 years of service.  News Bulletin photo.


St. Charles says 'thanks' to longtime library director 

When Diana Brown first joined the St. Charles Library staff the collections revolved around card catalogs, hard-bound books and other ink-on-paper resources.

As the library’s longtime director prepares to retire she’s leaving a facility now also fully-immersed in a world of digital media.

The community saluted Brown at a Sunday farewell reception in the library’s Carnegie Room. And Brown was quick to return the praise.

“We’ve had so much support from the board, the staff and the community and friends and the foundation,” said Brown, who spent 39 years working at the library, the last 35 years as director. “That’s the important thing.”

Still, it was Brown who helped oversee a facility expansion at the library’s 6th Ave. location plus a successful referendum and technological transformations. 

"Diana Brown's leadership has caused the St. Charles Public Library to become an integral part of the fabric and culture of the city of St. Charles," Mayor Ray Rogina read from a proclamation. “(She) has accomplished all of this while leading with creativity, foresight, respect and integrity."

Despite dramatic changes in technology, the basic charge to serve the community has never been altered.

“They’re exciting, I think they’re just new ways of serving people,” Brown said. “What we do hasn’t changed, how we do it has changed. It’s just more opportunities, better ways  to read and to get information and I think it’s exciting.”

And libraries will continue to evolve.

“I see probably more of the same,” she said. “I think libraries more and more, and more community centers  offer guidance and music and technologies.”

Brown has also been active in other community groups like St. Charles’ Public Art Committee, the St. Charles Heritage Center, Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley and other governmental community and library-focused organizations.

Pam Leffler, currently library director in north suburban Morton Grove, takes over as Brown’s successor starting Jan. 2.

Brown, meanwhile, has a lengthy to-do list at home and a six-month-old grandson, George, to dote on.

“I’ll clean my garage and house first,” she said. “And then play with my grandson.”

—Jack McCarthy 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 10:28
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