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Longtime La Salle librarian Laura Frizol looks at a book, “Get Happy,” in La Salle Public Library. Frizol oversaw a $2.5-million addition that doubled the size of the library, and has been involved in many efforts and organizations that strive to improve the community. She is moving to the Washington, D.C., area this spring. NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson
La Salle Public Library is looking for a new director to replace Laura Frizol, who plans to leave later this spring.
Frizol has been director since 1998 and plans to leave in late May-early June to get married and settle in the Washington, D.C., area, where her fiancé works.
“I’m very sad to leave because I love my job and I love the community,” Frizol said. “It has been a pleasure working in La Salle and working with the board and the staff and the city and everybody in the community and I wish them every success.”
Gerald Waszkowiak, who has served on the board for 38 years, said Frizol “is an outstanding librarian.”
“She brought a lot of experience and knowledge,” Waszkowiak said. “In my view she was one of the best librarians we had in my tenure. She is well-respected and well-liked; she is an asset to the library as well as to the community.”
Frizol also is a member of La Salle Business Association, La Salle Promotional and Advisory Committee and La Salle Mapping Group.
Frizol is giving the board ample time to find a replacement who can train with her, said John Steele, board president.
“It’s pretty difficult to replace somebody as qualified as she is,” Steele said. “We’re fortunate in that we’re starting early enough in the search that hopefully we have somebody in place so she can help train them.”
The job opening advertisement says the library has a budget of approximately $350,000 and a collection of 70,000 items. Salary will be $40,000 to $52,000, depending on qualifications. Review of applicants begins March 14.
Steele, who has been on the board since 1989, said Frizol “set the gold star for small-town library directors.”
“She has to wear many hats,” he said.
Frizol oversaw a major renovation and addition project in 2002-03.
“It was a $2.5 million project and it went very well,” she said. “It was a wonderful effort between the board, the staff, the architects, Vissering Construction, and we built something that I think is really a pillar of the community.”
The addition is 10 years old — something that made Frizol express how time flies. The original library was built in 1907 with a $25,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie.
“We celebrated the centennial back in 2007,” she said. “We wrote to famous authors and asked them to write to the citizens of La Salle and tell them what a library means to them. We received some wonderful responses. It was really inspiring. It was one of the best projects I ever worked on.”
Frizol oversaw a donation of more than 35,000 books, mostly children’s books, in 2007 from Carus Publishing.
“It really allowed us to have resources that were never available in this area to our schools, to our kids, and through interlibrary loan throughout the United States,” Frizol said. Frizol worked at the Illinois State Library in Springfield before she was hired in 1998 to replace Jeanne Struna.
Frizol said she plans to seek a library job in the Washington, D.C., area.
Jeff Dankert can be reached at (815) 220-6977 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted: Saturday, March 1, 2014
Article comment by:
Good Luck Laura.
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