Julie Milavec, Director at Large Candidate

Julie Milavec, Downers Grove Public Library

Statement of Concern

The pandemic has challenged libraries in ways unknown since the Spanish Flu more than 100 years ago. If there is anything we as librarians know, it’s that we are resilient and critical to our communities’ recovery from adversity. Libraries of all kinds provide the information, education, and recreation needed by their communities, large and small. The support and advocacy of the Illinois Library Association, with its focus on connecting and serving as the voice of Illinois libraries, is essential to libraries and librarians in speeding the recovery of our communities at a time when demand for state and federal funding is so great. 

2020 reinforced the need for equity work in libraries, the communities we serve, and the profession. ILA has an opportunity to act as a catalyst to move libraries from a “great equalizer” role to an “equity leader” role. This shift is happening, with the Best Practices Committee focusing on equity, diversity, and inclusion work in libraries, ILA’s strong statements condemning racism and violence, and its strategic plan initiatives to bring its equity vision closer to reality. ILA has an opportunity to help libraries leverage people’s perception of libraries as trusted community institutions to lead equity work in our communities to effect larger change. 


I became a librarian to serve, to try to make a difference in the lives of the people in the community I serve. I am following the tradition of my grandfather Al Trezza, one of the founders of Illinois multitype library systems, and my father Jim Johnston, long time director of the Joliet Public Library. For more than 25 years, I have served Illinois libraries, actively participating in ILA and local, regional, and statewide organizations. I would be honored to help ILA and Illinois libraries in their pandemic recovery and rising to become leaders in equity work in all the communities we serve. 


Downers Grove Public Library
     Library Director, August 2016-present

Plainfield Public Library District
     Library Director, November 2000-July 2016

West Chicago Public Library District
     Administrative Librarian, January1998-October 2000

Worth Public Library District
     Administrative Librarian, August 1995-December 1998

Lemont Public Library District
     November 1992-August1995


MLIS, Florida State University, Tallahassee FL, 1992

BA Psychology, Ripon College, Ripon WI, 1991

Professional Memberships and Activities

Recognized by Library Journal
     “America’s Top Libraries,” 2020

Illinois Library Association
     Executive Board
     Forum of Library Districts, Co-Chair (2 terms)
     Public Libraries Forum, Founding Member and Forum Board Member
     Membership Committee
     Finance Committee
     Best Practices Committee
     Marketing Committee, Board Liaison
     Future of Illinois Libraries, Services Sub-Committee
     Conference Program Presenter and Panelist (multiple years)

Illinois State Library
     Advisory Committee
     Future of Resource Sharing Committee

DuPage Library System
     Technology Managers Special Interest Group

Library Administrators Conference of Northern Illinois
     Salary Survey Committee

Suburban Library System
     Vendor Review Committee
     Internet Steering Committee

Library Integrated Network Consortium
     Administrator’s Council Vice-President/President Elect, Secretary
     Technical Service Task Force Liaison

Heritage Trail Library System
     Administrative Librarians Group of Heritage Trail (ALIGHT), Chair

Heritage Trail Library System Heritage Automated Libraries (HAL)
     Data Entry Committee
     Logo Committee
     Public Relations Committee
     Internal Contract Committee

Synergy: The Illinois Library Leadership Initiative 2003-2004

Prairie Area Library System
     Shorewood Service Center Administrative Librarians Group, Chair
     Merger Transition Board, Services Sub-Committee, Member

PrairieCat Consortium
     Administrative Council, Vice Chair (3 terms)
     Delegates Assembly, Member
     ILS Selection Committee
     Fee Formula Committee

Pinnacle Library Cooperative
     Founding Member
     Governing Board, Chair, Vice Chair

Reaching Across Illinois Library System
     System Services Committee
     Consortium Committee, SWAN Alternate Representative

SWAN Library Services
     Executive Board (2 terms), Secretary
     Finance Committee
     Bylaws Committee     

Libraries of Illinois Risk Agency (LIRA)
     Founding Member
     Executive Committee (3 terms), Vice Chair (2 terms)

American Library Association

Public Library Association                                  

iREAD Summer Reading Programs

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