The big scoop this week is that Cook Memorial has a newly appointed leader. The Library Board has selected Assistant Director and Aspen Drive Library Manager, David Archer, to take over as Library Director when Stephen Kershner retires on June 1. When Board President Bonnie Quirke announced the Board’s choice at a recent all-staff meeting, the news was greeted with an enthusiastic standing ovation.
To help you get to know the new Director, I asked Dave to answer a few pertinent (and impertinent) questions.
You’ve been a reference librarian, a department head, a building manager, an assistant director – whew! Based on all that experience, what do you think is the biggest challenge facing public libraries today?
- Libraries always need to be extra attentive to what their patrons want. While our communities continue to support traditional library collections and services, libraries also need to meet the needs of tech-savvy patrons and those who prefer digital formats. The increasing popularity of digital formats provides an opportunity for libraries to showcase their extensive eLibrary collections by staff trained on the latest devices.
You are a suburbanite now, but you and your wife Nicole lived in Chicago for a number of years. Is there a Chicago restaurant we should check out?
- Xoco, Rick Bayless’ casual restaurant in River North has amazing tortas. Chicago has so many great sushi places, but Coast Sushi in Bucktown stands out. For blues music, Buddy Guy’s Legends in the South Loop is a magical place.
You are known to be a big fan of audiobooks. Any recent stand-out titles you’d like to recommend to fellow commuters?
- The Wild Truth: The Untold Story of Sibling Survival by Carine McCandless provides a fascinating context to the life of her brother, Chris McCandless, portrayed in the book Into the Wild. For something completely different, Jim Gaffigan’s Food: A Love Story, was an amusing and easygoing listen.
What’s it like being a Kansas City Royals fan in Sox and Cubs territory?
- Up until last year, when Kansas City went to the World Series, it was challenging being a Royals fan in any territory. But, I think Chicago sports fans appreciate and respect a scrappy team like the Royals.
Thumbs up or thumbs down on the Mad Men final episode?
- I initially had mixed feelings but after a second viewing, I thought it was nearly perfect. I will miss the show but am looking forward to Matthew Weiner’s next project.
Which requires more energy, running a library or being the father of two little girls?
- That’s a very difficult question to answer! I’ll just say that both are immensely rewarding experiences.
Dave looks forward to focusing on the details of the District’s recently adopted three-year Strategic Plan. Want to know what the plan entails? Take a look.