By Bob Uphues
Two months into her tenure as the director of the North Riverside Public Library, Natalie Bazan has started to leave her own mark with the announcement earlier this month of a shift in some staffing.
One of the more notable changes was the creation of a new senior services librarian position, a change formally approved by the library board last month and implemented by Bazan.
Longtime adult services librarian Mary Cooper, who already had been including senior-centric events in her programming efforts, has been named to the new post.
"A large portion of our population is elderly, and we don't have an employee dedicated to them," said Bazan, adding that many libraries have senior services specialists.
Programming will include events, materials and classes geared toward senior citizens, for example, estate planning, workshops on how to recognize and avoid scams, basic internet classes and strategies on avoiding email phishing scams.
"Mary's really into it and she's going to be great at it," said Bazan.
Bazan is also in the process of hiring a new adult services librarian to replace John Zmola, a former adult services librarian who retired last June. Bazan said the adult services changes will become official once the new hire is on board, hopefully by the end of the library district's fiscal year on June 30.
Meanwhile, a part-time administrative assistant position that's been vacant since mid-2017 will be reconfigured into an administrative assistant/promotions position. A key part of the promotions piece, said Bazan, will be revamping the library's newsletter and creating posters to announce library events.
"We're going to reinvent things we do currently," Bazan said.
Finally, the library board also voted to increase the number of days per year that the library is open to the public by staying open on three federal holidays – Columbus Day, Veterans Day and Presidents Day.
In addition to keeping the doors open on those days, said Bazan, the library will also create programming to draw people to the building, particularly students who have the days off from school.