Brian Shepard, Indian Trails Public Library District, Named Librarian of the Year

Public Library Forum (PLF)

July 16, 2019

Brian Shepard, Executive Director of the Indian Trails Public Library District, is the recipient of the Illinois Library Association (ILA) Librarian of the Year Award. The award recognizes a librarian’s distinguished service and leadership in Illinois Libraries. The award is presented and sponsored by Today’s Business Solution Inc. (TBS).

Shepard, a well-respected and influential library leader, believes innovation and customer-focused services create a vibrant and impactful public library. During his fiveyear tenure at Indian Trails Library, Shepard improved relationships with community organizations, implemented a summer lunch program, brought in a social worker to assist members, created a paid parental leave policy, developed an organizational culture statement, secured a grant of $100,000 for the installation of solar panels, and led a $14.3 million building renovation and expansion that was over six years in the making. The renovation and expansion was highlighted in the “Illinois Library Association Reporter” and the “American Libraries Library Design Showcase” publications. The renovation project featured green initiatives, a makerspace and digital media studio, interactive early literacy space, middle school area, study rooms, ESL and training labs, a drive up window, increased parking, and partnership with the local park district for a neighboring park/playground.

Outside the community and library he serves, Shepard is active in the library profession through service and mentoring. He co-chaired the rewriting of Serving Our Public: Standards for Illinois Public Libraries, a valuable resource for all public libraries. He also served on the steering committee of and mentored library staff through Elevate, the Illinois Libraries Leadership Program. He has spoken at numerous events, including the Illinois Library Association conferences. He is the current ILA Board Treasurer, co-host of an ILA Legislative Breakfast and was previously on the ILA Public Policy Committee.

The Librarian of the Year Award will be presented at the Awards Luncheon to be held on Tuesday, October 22, during the 2019 Illinois Library Association Annual Conference in Tinley Park.

For further information, contact the Illinois Library Association.

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