Marengo-Union Library director retiring

MARENGO – Director Mary Hanson will retire to Milwaukee after leading the Marengo-Union Library for the past nine years that included a successful effort to move to a larger space.

Hanson’s retirement will allow her to spend more time with her husband, who has lived and worked in Milwaukee for the past five years. The library board will begin interviewing potential replacements during a special meeting Tuesday.

Hanson said she plans to stay with the library until a new director completes the transition to the area.

“I’m excited for the library,” she said. “It will be an exciting time for them to move to a new facility, but I am eager to join my husband.”

Expansion underscored Hanson’s tenure in Marengo during the past nine years.

With board backing, Hanson and the library’s staff successfully used $1.2 million from their existing budget to acquire the former Miceli drapery plant at 19714 E. Grant Highway, Marengo, in 2011.

The new space is three times the library’s existing space at 200 S. State St. in downtown Marengo. Roughly $750,000 in renovations to the former plant began in January, and officials hope to move into the new home by mid-2014.

The library also added adult programming, upgraded its computer systems and developed computer classes for the public during Hanson’s tenure.

Hanson’s retirement caps off 30 years in the library business that included stops at libraries in Chicago, Rolling Meadows, Algonquin, Huntley and Schaumburg.

“I’ve always enjoyed helping the public find information,” she said. “That has carried throughout my library career. The way we do it has changed dramatically, but we are still in that business.”

Hanson will assist the library board with interviews for the director position. She has already narrowed the list to four candidates. The initial round of interviews will continue throughout February.

The library doesn’t yet have a timetable for naming a replacement, Hanson said.

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