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Geneva Public Library Director Steps Down

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Alexa Aguilar predicted in a Chicago Tribune special report that the director of the Geneva Public Library, Matt Teske, would announce his resignation at a special meeting of the Geneva Public Library District's Board of Trustees on Wednesday, January 22, 2014. Teske joined the staff of the Geneva Public Library in 2006 as assistant director and was promoted to director in 2008.

Citing privacy laws, Board President Esther Steel declined to explain why Teske was offering to resign, but Ms. Aguilar noted "He took an extended personal leave late last year, and the board began discussing the library's leadership in the weeks after his return, said board president Esther Steel."

Ms. Aguilar wrote, "Steel also said that Teske had excellent reviews during his tenure as director, and that 'I believe the board has a lot of faith in Matt. Logically, if we didn't, we wouldn't be voting on appointing him assistant director.'" Last November, Ms. Aguilar wrote a story about Teske's list of proposals to renovate the Geneva Public Library, such as enlarging the entrance, after the Board of Trustees decided not to follow through with a 2010 plan to erect a new library on the site of the old Cetron factory.

The agenda Ms. Aguilar saw indicated that after the Board of Trustees voted to accept Teske's resignation, they would re-appoint him to his old post of assistant director, effective in June, when the person who currently holds that post, Peggy Carlson, is scheduled to retire. A management consultant, Marilyn Boria, would be promoted to interim director.

In an earlier article in January, Ms. Aguilar observed that only one member of the Board of Trustees voted against hiring Ms. Boria as a consultant, Susan Shivers, and Ms. Shivers argued that the taxpayers should not have to pay for both Teske's salary and the fees of a consultant, but should instead hire Ms. Boria as interim director. "Why pay someone part-time to tell us what we already know," she said.

Ms. Boria retired as director of the Elmhurst Public Library in July of 2011 after twenty-seven years of service. During her tenure at the Elmhurst Public Library, the organization moved from the Wilder Mansion to the new facility, as recounted by Dave Mathews in 2010.

A month after she retired, she was hired by the Sugar Grove Public Library's Board of Trustees as interim director, a job that lasted nine months. In August of 2012, she was hired as interim director of the Carol Stream Public Library on a part-time basis, as Christopher Placek recounted in the Daily Herald.

In both cases, she replaced, on a temporary basis, women who were fired. Keith Beebe reported for the Elburn Herald that in the case of Sugar Grove, Ms. Boria voluntarily took a pay cut on October 13, 2011 before the Board of Trustees voted in favor of mediation with former Director Beverly Holmes Hughes. "[Board Secretary Bill] Durrenberger...announced that interim Library Director Marilyn Boria had voluntarily reduced her hourly pay from $72 to $50 in order to put in more hours for the library and help protect library staff from cutbacks."

In mid-January, the Board of Trustees of the Geneva Public Library District voted to hire Ms. Boria as a management consultant who would work part-time at a rate of $60 per hour. A review of the Geneva Public Library District's Staff Directory shows that Marilyn Boria is Interim Director, Matt Teske is Assistant Director, and Peggy Carlson is Assistant Director. The agenda for the special board meeting on February 27, 2014 states that a search for the next director is underway.

***

Incidentally, the Geneva Public Library is having its annual magazine sale. It began on Monday, February 17, 2014 and runs until they are all sold. The magazines are sold in bundles by title for $1 per bundle and are available in the lobby by the main entrance.

The Geneva Public Library District states, "Each bundle is sold 'as is' and does not necessarily contain a full year due to damaged or lost issues. New titles are added to the table daily and are available on a first come, first serve basis. Unfortunately, we cannot predict when certain titles will be available nor can we hold bundles for you. Magazine bundles that do not sell will be recycled or donated."

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