Illinois Library Luminary Honorees

This honor roll for Illinois libraries serves the dual purpose of recognizing outstanding voices in the library community, while creating a legacy through the ILA Endowment to continue their important work.

2023 |2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 20152014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009


Dr. Emily Joyce Magdelyn Knox

Dr. Emily Joyce Magdelyn Knox is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Knox’s commitment to intellectual freedom and to shaping the next generation of librarians has touched every library in Illinois. 

Her research interests include information access, intellectual freedom and censorship, information ethics and policy, and the intersection of print culture and reading practices. She is a member of many organizations including the American Library Association, the Black Caucus of ALA, the Freedom to Read Foundation, and the Illinois Library Association. She is member of the advisory board for the African Centre of Excellence for Information Ethics and is the chair of the board of the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Her book, Book Banning in 21st Century America (Rowman & Littlefield) is the first monograph in the Beta Phi Mu Scholars’ Series. Her most recent book Foundations of Intellectual Freedom (ALA Neal-Schuman) won the 2023 Eli M. Oboler Prize for best published work in the area of intellectual freedom. Knox’s articles have been published in the Library Quarterly, Library and Information Science Research, and Open Information Science.

Knox has received many awards and recognitions, including the 2023 American Library Association/Beta Phi Mu Award of achievement for distinguished service to education for librarianship, 2023 Beta Phi Mu Distinguished Member Award, 2022 iSchool Alumni Association (ISAA) Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2022 Chicagoan of the Year for Books named along with library workers by the Chicago Tribune, and 2015 Illinois Library Association Intellectual Freedom Award.

Knox received her PhD from the doctoral program at the Rutgers University School of Communication & Information. Her master’s in library and information science is from the iSchool at Illinois. She also holds a BA in Religious Studies from Smith College and an AM in the same field from The University of Chicago Divinity School.

Inducted November 16, 2023

Jill Donovan

Jill Donovan has lent her creative mind to ILA since the mid-90s but was officially hired to start working with iREAD in 2002. Since then, Jill has served as the Creative Director for iREAD and will be greatly missed with her retirement in October 2023. The program as we know it would not exist without Jill’s contributions over the past 20 years.

Whether you loved Christian Robinson's fun Gaston art, from iREAD’s 2018 theme of "Reading Takes You Everywhere!" or were drawn to the simple yet beautiful illustrations from Hervé Tullet in 2021's "Reading Colors Your World", you have Jill to thank for recruiting and negotiating with ALL of the artists since 2002.

Regardless of if you are actively involved with planning summer reading at your library, take part each summer as a participant, or simply enjoy watching your library be decorated for each year’s theme, you have Jill to thank. She has created every flier, catalog, branded incentive, and piece of print (both physical and digital) for the past twenty years. Not only that, she has made it a priority and personal mission that the art reflects age, gender, disability, body, and racial/ethnic diversity so that everyone using iREAD has an opportunity to see themselves reflected in the art available and in the artists themselves.

As if that wasn't enough, she is the reason we have the amazing Resource Guide to send to libraries across the globe! Due in large part to Jill's hard work and dedication, we have partners like the Department of Defense using iREAD for their base libraries and statewide adoptions but it doesn't stop there. Libraries across the continental US, Alaska, Bermuda, and even as far away as New Zealand, use the program to create summer reading for their communities.

Inducted September 14, 2023


Diane Foote

Diane Foote served as the Executive Director of the Illinois Library Association from November of 2017 to July 2022. She had large shoes to fill after Bob Doyle’s 20 year incumbency. However, very quickly it became obvious that Diane would make her own very important mark on ILA. 

During her tenure, Diane increased the number of U.S. States purchasing iREAD(R) as their summer reading program by an amazing seven states: Alaska, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington! In 2020, she also successfully won the RFP from the U.S. Department of Defense to continue supplying the iREAD(R) Summer Reading Program for the next five years. These efforts help to ensure ILA’s continuing fiscal sustainability. 

Diane led the way for revising ILA’s Strategic Plan which was implemented in 2019 after a comprehensive year-long process that will carry through 2023. The Strategic Plan included strategies and goals to support ILA's mission of leadership, advocacy, partnership, and learning for the benefit of Illinois libraries.  

She saw a need to evaluate ILA’s staffing levels and reorganized, adding much needed positions to make the organization more effective. 

In an effort to make attendees feel safer and more comfortable at ILA events, Diane initiated a Statement of Appropriate Conduct and reporting process. She has demonstrated a commitment to advancing principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout her career, including service and leadership roles on ALA’s Coretta Scott King Book Award Committee and launching a DEI Subcommittee of the ILA Executive Board.

Along with the Fundraising Committee, Diane has launched a brand new fundraising mechanism: Illuminate Illinois. This is a program of annual recognition of donors and increasing recognition for lifetime giving that has already begun to have an impact. 

Perhaps her most memorable contribution, however, was the courageous way Diane led the organization through the global pandemic of COVID-19. Immediately recognizing the potentially devastating financial impact of the pandemic, Diane successfully applied for vital PPP funding to keep the organization afloat. She had the foresight to pivot conferences in 2020 and 2021 to a virtual format. She harnessed technology to the benefit of keeping members informed and in touch with each other. Her leadership was truly inspirational! 

Prior to leading ILA, Diane served as Assistant Dean and Curator of Butler Children’s Literature Center at Dominican University; Executive Director of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association; Associate Editor of ALA’s Book Links Magazine, and did extensive work in the publishing industry. 

Inducted December 21, 2022

Roberta Koscielski

After 38 years of being a vibrant force for good in her community, Roberta retired as Peoria Public Library's Deputy Director in 2022. She is well-known and respected for the countless ways she has inspired and guided connections between the library and all facets of the community. 

Roberta was honored as the 2020 Librarian of the Year by the Illinois Library Association. In her nomination, Roberta is described as "a passionate, dedicated champion of her community, her library's role in it, and the profession at large." Roberta was the first Peoria Public Library librarian to receive this statewide honor.

During her career, she forged connections with city leaders, area nonprofits, and other organizations. For decades, she was an adult literacy tutor and board member for first Common Place and then Neighborhood House. Her tireless volunteer efforts garnered her a Volunteer Service Award and a one-on-one meeting with then-President George W. Bush in 2007.

Her work in raising opioid addiction awareness in libraries was recognized nationally. She was dubbed "a new first responder" by U.S. News and World Report and named as one of Library Journal's Movers and Shakers in 2018.

Roberta started Peoria Reads!, a one city, one book program with Common Place in 2001 and was its main steward for 20 years, attracting additional community partners, including Bradley University, Methodist College and Neighborhood House.

Roberta graduated with distinction with a bachelor's degree in linguistics from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and then immediately completed a master's degree in library science at the university. While much of her career has been in administration, Roberta always welcomed opportunities to work one-on-one with patrons. She led two book clubs through the library, which she plans to continue after retiring. Her retirement plans also include using her grant-writing skills to help our Friends of Peoria Public Library.

Inducted November 17, 2022

Jean Wilkins

Jean Willkins

Jean Wilkins served as the Illinois State Library Director from 1999-2004, capping a career at the State Library that began in 1980. Jean received her MSLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1985.

Through the course of her career, Jean Wilkins was a tremendous force for supporting statewide programs to benefit all types of Illinois libraries. Thanks to her vision and foresight, Jean started programs that continue to this day in part or whole. These programs include the Synergy Leadership Program, the Illinois Digital Archives, Project Next Generation, the Cataloging Maintenance Center, the OCLC Group Services Agreement, and Try-It! Illinois. She also expanded other significant programs such as the Illinois Center for the Book and the Talking Book & Braille Service. She pursued grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support public library technology initiatives, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to support the transition to electronic from paper documents in state government.

Jean’s incredibly warm personality endeared her to many throughout the years, including Illinois State Library employees, and officials and employees across state government. Especially important is the care that she takes with each person in her life. While she was the Illinois State Library Director, she knew what was going on with every employee, taking care to pay special attention to challenging situations in peoples’ lives.

Inducted June 13, 2022

Patricia Boze, 1952-2020

Patricia Jane Boze was a renaissance librarian whose career made a significant contribution to Illinois libraries. She received her M.L.S. from the then-Graduate School of Library and Science Information in 1988 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Pat valued libraries as places where individuals and communities could come together and work toward a common goal, enriching the lives of the residents of Illinois. As an enthusiastic supporter of libraries, she spent her career working toward that goal. This was reflected in the programs she worked on at the Lincoln Trail Library System and at the Illinois State Library, from where she retired in 2018.

Pat’s professional experience was wide ranging and challenging. Her strengths included organization, negotiation, staff supervision, policy development, public relations, customer service, and interpersonal skills. She had an innate ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds.

Some highlights of her professional career include: 

  • Manager for SirsiDynix consortium of 108 member libraries, including management of a large-scale migration from one automation system to another, as well as the implementation of additional technology products for the consortium;
  • Team manager of a public library (Charleston, Illinois) during a difficult financial crisis without a director for a 4-month period;
  • Consultant for libraries in areas related to legal issues; personnel and board interaction; planning, evaluation and development of library services review; managing multiple projects – from a training project for rural public libraries to statewide testing and implementation of WorldCat Local Quick Start for 700 Illinois libraries; writing successful grants; participating in strategic planning process; designing an overall public relations and marketing plan for a large-scale project and coordination regional effort to lobby legislators on library related issues; as LTLS LLSAP Manager, planned and implemented merged automation program;
  • Author of professional published articles on various library topics and frequent presenter
  • Professional affiliations include founding member of the Illinois State Library Small Public Library Management Institute and committee member for 17 years (1994-2011); ILEAD U Mentor; Editorial Board Member, Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Review; OCLC Americas Regional Council Executive Committee Member; and Rethinking Resource Sharing (RUSA) Steering Committee.

During her tenure at the Illinois State Library, Pat brought her knowledge and professional skills to the statewide level, helping Illinois residents on all levels of service: individuals, librarians, library systems, and trustees.

She focused on resource sharing for all types of libraries. The enhanced services resulted in a new model for automation and resource sharing. She effectively worked to achieve her goals. Pat placed her own personal work philosophy as a high priority on library advocacy while progressively maintaining flexibility as society and technology changed.

Pat enjoyed her work and the challenges to help further the library community. She never said “no” to questions, new ideas, or opportunities. Pat was compassionate and caring in her life and this carried over to her professional career as a librarian.

Many, many librarians, libraries, residents, and patrons benefited from her expertise. She contributed greatly to the advancement of Illinois libraries.

Inducted March 17, 2022


Kathryn Harris

Kathryn Harris

Kathryn Harris is a tremendous force for good in Springfield, Illinois, her hometown for five decades. Her commitment to scholarship, especially the sharing of her remarkable research of abolitionist Harriet Tubman, is a continuation of her life’s work around history and exploration. A native of Carbondale, Harris earned a degree in French, with a concentration in education, from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and a master’s in library science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Harris served as the director of library services at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield from 1990-2015. Prior to that, her experience includes stints at the Illinois State Library, Southern Illinois University, and the Lincoln Library. Since her retirement in 2015, Kathryn spends her time volunteering in the community, including vibrant portrayals of Harriet Tubman. In February 2021, she received the Illinois Treasurer’s Office Black History Month Award for Outstanding Service in Arts and Humanity. She was recognized in 2020 by the State Journal-Register as the First Citizen Award winner, an award that recognizes Springfield-area residents who give selflessly of their time and resources in service to others.

Harris has served on the Illinois Humanities Council, the Springfield mayor’s study circles on race, and the city’s zoning commission. She was the first African American and woman to be president of the Abraham Lincoln Association. She holds “distinguished alumnae” honors from the universities she attended and received the Webster plaque from the Springfield Branch NAACP. She has been interviewed many times by the media, always with acknowledgments for her many professional and volunteer accomplishments. Kathryn is someone who is dedicated to her family, community, and profession.

Inducted September 23, 2021

Patricia Jarog 

Long before Patricia Jarog pursued a career in public libraries, she found herself volunteering on a library referendum committee and directing several “Murder at the Library” fundraisers. Those early experiences at the Villa Park Public Library played a huge role in her next act: earning a MLIS from Dominican University and landing at the White Oak Library District (the Des Plaines Valley Public Library District in 2006). Her career coincided with that library’s massive expansion in services as well as the total revamp of its three facilities. Serving as adult services librarian, children’s services librarian, children’s services manager, and Lockport Branch manager, her inspirational leadership and innate ability to bring people together in compromise became the hallmarks of her career.

Patricia’s ability to connect with community organizations resulted in a plethora of partnerships including the library’s largest event, Comicopolis, a comic and fandom “con” that topped 2,000 attendees in 2019. It also drew the attention of the City of Lockport, resulting in significant funding from the city’s Summer Art Series and cementing a strong partnership between the library and the city. Her unique capacity for collaboration also made a long-lasting impact on how public-school students would receive library cards. She spearheaded the Student Success Card Initiative that removed barriers from the application process, resulting in the issuance of almost 20,000 cards in a two-year period.

Inducted May 20, 2021

James R. Johnston, 1947-2021 

James R. (Jim) Johnston served as the Director of the Joliet Public Library for more than 33 years from 1976–2009. Jim was a visionary leader who touched many lives and made a deep and lasting impact on the Joliet community. During his tenure, Joliet’s historic downtown library was renovated and expanded, an innovative branch in a local mall opened, and the Black Road Branch built. Ahead of his time, Jim testified in front of the Illinois General Assembly arguing for financial assistance in bridging the digital divide in 1979.

Jim showed courageous leadership when the library was firebombed in 1989. He used the terrible tragedy as an opportunity to build back stronger and to revitalize services at the library, and shared his insights into handling a crisis with the ILA community at the ILA Annual Conference the following year. He spoke on disaster response and recovery to library and municipal organizations around the United States over the three years following the firebombing.

Jim was a champion for library service in his community and throughout the state. A fierce advocate, he could be counted on to play the devil’s advocate and stand firm for his convictions. He fought hard for the library and was never afraid to vigorously defend his position. What may be most remembered, however was what an excellent mentor he was to many in the creative, it was said of him that he gave you the room to fail and the support to try again. Through that support, countless individuals were able to succeed.

Jim was actively involved in many Joliet community organizations such as the Joliet Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Kiwanis Club of Joliet, Joliet/Will County Project Pride (now Project Acclaim), and United Way of Will County. His career included awards and honors, including Joliet/Will County Project Pride Community Service Award and induction into the Hall of Pride. He was a member of ILA’s Public Library Forum and served on the public library standards committee to update Serving Our Public: Standards for Illinois Public Libraries, an ILA publication.

Inducted May 20, 2021 


Janice M. Del Negro, PhD

Janice M. Del Negro, PhD, is a professor at the School of Information Studies at Dominican University, where she teaches storytelling, children's and young adult literature, and foundations of library and information science. She is a storyteller, author, educator, and coach. Her list of publications includes Passion and Poison (2007), a collection of supernatural tales for young adults which received starred reviews in both Horn Book and School Library Journal. Del Negro’s second picture book, Willa and the Wind (2005) was an ALA Notable Book, and an Honor Book for the Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children's Literature from the Bank Street College of Education in New York City; her first picture book, Lucy Dove (1998) won the Anne Izard Storytelling Award. She collaborated with Ellin Greene on the fourth edition of the classic storytelling textbook, Storytelling: Art & Technique (2010), and at the time of her induction, working on the fifth edition. Her book, Folktales Aloud: Practical Tips for Playful Storytelling, was awarded a Storytelling World Resource Award in 2015. Her most recent title, Engaging Teens with Story: How to Inspire and Educate Youth with Storytelling (2017) received a Storytelling World Resource Award and was named SLC/ARBA’s “Best Professional Resource for School or Youth Librarians.” Del Negro serves on the boards of Illinois Storytelling, Inc. and the Northlands Storytelling Network. She has been a featured speaker, storyteller, and workshop leader at several American Library Association conferences, multiple Illinois Library Association conferences, the National Storytelling Conference and Festival, the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Illinois Storytelling Festival, Mariposa Storytelling Festival, and many other celebratory events. In 2016 Del Negro received the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence Award, “presented to artists who are recognized by their peers to be master storytellers who set the standards for excellence and have demonstrated, over a significant period of time, a commitment and dedication to the art of storytelling.

Inducted September 24, 2020

Mary McTague Huchting, 1935-2019

Mary McTague Huchting

Mary Huchting’s dedication to libraries and to excellence in publishing for librarians resulted in a broad range of notable and substantive contributions to our chosen profession. In a long and distinguished career (1981-2005) as a production editor and then managing editor for American Library Association (ALA) Publishing, Huchting ably shepherded to print flagship titles of critical importance to all librarians, including Anglo American Cataloguing Rules 2 and Guide to Reference Books.  As managing editor at ALA, Huchting was responsible for assuring that 30 to 35 books per year were published under the ALA imprint.  

Known for her insistence on quality, accuracy, and clarity, Huchting gained high praise from her peers and from ALA authors with whom she worked. Michael Gorman, co-editor of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules and 2005-2006 ALA President, said “Mary’s careful work was invaluable in preparing both editions of AACR2. She was eagle-eyed, diligent, and invariably right in her judgments.” Patrick Hogan, an editor and colleague at ALA Publishing, said that nearly all prominent ALA publications passed through her hands--and, above all, “she was a stickler for quality.”  After Huchting retired from ALA, Robert P. Doyle, former ILA Executive Director (1996-2017), asked her to work as copy editor and proofreader for the ILA Reporter and other ILA print publications. For more than a decade, she applied her respected editorial skills, along with her solid grasp of our profession’s values and subject matter, to improve all of ILA’s publications.

Huchting gained valuable frontline library experience as head reference librarian at the Mundelein College library in Chicago from 1978 to 1981. There, she developed the reference collection, provided bibliographic instruction to students, and aided faculty research. Before becoming a librarian, she worked in the publishing industry for a number of years. In Boston, she was an editorial assistant at the Houghton-Mifflin Company, and in Chicago, she was supervisor of the editorial department at Commerce Clearing House. Huchting later did editorial work for a number of publishers in Chicago, among them the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, Rand McNally, and Northwestern University Press. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa and an M.A. in Library Science from Dominican University.

Inducted May 8, 2020


G. Victor ("Vic") Johnson

G. Victor (Vic) Johnson served as a dedicated library trustee of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library from 1982 through 2013, more than thirty years! He was known for his tact, approachability, and commitment to service, giving an incredible amount of time and effort to benefit libraries on the local, state, and national levels. In Arlington Heights, Vic served on the Board of Library Trustees as president for eight years, vice president/secretary for four years and treasurer for nine years. In this role, he oversaw the hiring of four executive directors and the passage of two referenda, presided over two building campaigns, and helped maintain four years of zero-percent tax increases over the prior year’s extended levy. During his Board Presidency, a three-year building project added 56,000 square feet of space to the library; also, the library was first recognized as a Five-Star Library by Library Journal and has since earned five stars for five years in a row.

In Illinois, Vic served on the North Suburban Library System’s board for 19 years, holding positions of treasurer for two years, vice president for two years, and president for three years. He then served on the board that oversaw the creation of the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS)from the merger of five library systems. In 2000, he received ILA's Robert R. McClarren Legislative Development Award, given to a member of the library community who contributes to legislative development in the state and advocated for libraries locally, throughout the state and nationally. He also served as a member of ILA's Trustee Forum Board.

Nationally, Vic served on the national level as President and other roles in the United for Libraries (formerly the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations) division of the American Library Association (ALA), and was honored with the ALA Trustee Citation for 2013, the highest award that division bestows.

Inducted April 18, 2019

Linda C. Smith  

Linda’s nearly 50-year career began when she came to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Graduate School of Library Science (now the School of Information Sciences) in 1971 shortly after graduating summa cum laude in physics and mathematics from Allegheny College (PA). She received her M.S. from Illinois in 1972 and spent a year at Washington University School of Medicine Library in St. Louis as a Trainee in Computer Librarianship.  She then earned an M.S. in Information and Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1975 and a Ph.D. from Syracuse University, School of Information Studies in 1979.

Currently, Linda serves as Executive Associate Dean for the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois, where she began as an assistant professor in 1977. She has been routinely named to the university’s List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent throughout her tenure and was named a University Distinguished Teacher-Scholar in 1999. She works with graduate students on-campus (MS, CAS, PhD) and, since 1997, online (MS, CAS).

A prolific writer, Linda has authored books, journal articles, chapters, reports and conference papers, and served as co-editor for five editions of Reference and Information Services: An Introduction (Libraries Unlimited). Her most recent publication is the co-authored chapter “Transforming Library and Information Science Education by Design” published in Advances in Librarianship (v. 44A, 2018). Linda is also the recipient of numerous awards, honors, fellowships and grants. She has been an invited speaker in Finland, The Netherlands, Sweden, and throughout the United States.

Linda’s memberships include the American Library Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for Information Science and Technology, Association for Library and Information Science Education, Association for Computing Machinery, Beta Phi Mu, Health Science Librarians of Illinois, Illinois Library Association, Medical Library Association, and Special Libraries Association, among others. She continues to serve on a variety of committees at the university and in professional associations, most recently as a member of the American Library Association’s Committee on Accreditation.

Inducted January 31, 2019


Lou Flavio

Lou Flavio has been an Illinois library supporter for many years. Through his leadership, the library vendor he owns and operates, Today’s Business Solutions, Inc. (TBS) has become a partner that works side by side with libraries to bring services to our constituents.

TBS has been a sponsor of ILA’s TBS Technical Services Award since 2000 and the Librarian of the Year Award as of 2017, has been a Platinum Sponsor of the ILA Annual Conference since 2006, and a Reaching Forward sponsor since 2011. In addition to these sponsorships, TBS is a regular ILA Conference Pub Stroll sponsor and prior to the pub strolls, has hosted dinners at ILA, ALA, and PLA for their numerous clients. Most recently, TBS became the founding ILA Library Leadership Partner under this new recognition program. Not only providing financial assistance at the association level, Lou and TBS are also supportive of the local efforts of librarians to further the education of staff. TBS has been the top sponsor for the four ATLAS (Area Training for Librarians and Staff) Directors’ Retreats over the past 8 years. These retreats provide networking, programming, and much-needed decompressing for public library directors from all over the State of Illinois. Beyond donating to library-related organizations he has also contributed funds towards individual library projects when asked. Lou recognizes the value that a public library has on a community and is always willing to help bring that value forth.

Lou’s generous spirit stretches beyond libraries to local Chicago organizations with annual donations to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, St. Baldrick’s Foundation, Mt. Greenwood Park Therapeutic Recreation Association, Chicago Public Library Foundation, Special Olympics Illinois, and the Helping Hand Center. Lou Flavio is a unique businessman who has integrity and truly cares about his clients and their institutions, creating and maintaining meaningful relationships with his clients. That is why TBS has products in more than 1,000 libraries throughout the United States. Lou is truly an Illinois Library Luminary.

Inducted August 21, 2018

Kathleen ("Kate") Boyle, 1952-2018

Kate Boyle

Kathleen (Kate) Boyle’s name is synonymous with resource sharing in Illinois. For twenty-five years, from 1979 to 2004, Kate served as Resource Sharing Manager of the Suburban Library System. She later served as Resource Sharing Manager of the Metropolitan Library System from 2004-2011, and Member Services Manager of the System-Wide Automated Network (SWAN) from 2009-2018. Kate was a leader in Illinois libraries’ adoption of technology to support reciprocal borrowing, inter-library loan systems, and library system automation. From 1980-2014 she served on every critical statewide committee tasked with interlibrary loan and reciprocal borrowing policy and automation. Kate served as a member of the ILLINET Interlibrary Loan Code Revision Committee, and was also a crucial participant in statewide development teams for VIC (Virtual Illinois Catalog), SILC (Statewide Illinois Library Catalog), and SILO (Serials of Illinois Libraries Online). Kate’s numerous accomplishments in library resource sharing include working on the project team that created Serials of Illinois Libraries Online (SILO) in the 1980s-1990s, designing and developing the self-adhesive label for delivery of materials within the Metropolitan Library System, and developing Illinois’s statewide Resource Sharing Policy Directory. She is the co-author of SWAN Recommendations on Symphony Integrated Library System (ILS) Profiling, which recommended expanded resource-sharing options for library patrons. Kate willingly shared her expertise and creativity with others and served as a mentor to all who crossed her path, expanding library services to Illinois residents and beyond.

Inducted August 14, 2018

Karen Stott Bersche

Karen Stott Bersche, of Bloomington, Illinois, served on the Reaching Across Illinois Library System Board (2011-2016) and the Illinois State Library Advisory Committee (2015-18) during her 35-year library career. She was a member of the State Board of Rural Partners from 1995 to 2015 – bringing a library perspective to the table of the public-private partnership organization.

While serving as Director of the Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center (2005-2008), she received the 2007 Illinois Library Association Skrzypek Award for Leadership in Service to the Blind/Physically Challenged. 

Library Journal honored Ms. Bersche in 2005 as one of "50 Movers and Shakers --The People Who Are Shaping the Future of America's Libraries."

As Alliance Library System Partnerships/Marketing Manager (1996-2005), Bersche focused on library development and marketing. The best-known marketing campaigns were: The Great Librarian Adventure, leveraging a $102,000 IMLS grant to coordinate a marketing campaign for recruitment into the librarian profession – laying the foundation for providing tuition-free MLIS degrees for 36 students thanks to a subsequent recruitment grant from the Laura Bush Foundation; Libraries Matter, which received international media coverage and raise $58,000 for Alliance Library System to use to educate librarians; Powerful Libraries Make Powerful Learners, which promoted research on the importance of school libraries; and Partners in a Great System, with its decorated, life-sized "PIGS" in 300 Illinois communities that promoted library systems and local artists - in partnership with the Illinois Pork Producers Association. (Featured in “American Libraries” September 2001.)

All of the campaigns resulted in television and press coverage for local libraries and librarians.

The Canadian Library Association, American Library Association, a Texas Library System, and Public Library Association hosted programs provided by Mrs. Bersche based upon publications she co-authored on library involvement in community and economic development. A previous career as a Chamber of Commerce Executive Director informed these publications, along with research done in partnership with Dr. Norman Walzer, Director of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs.

Bersche was a public library director in northern Illinois (1983-1995) and in Towanda, Illinois from 2008 to 2018.

Inducted June 14, 2018


Peggy J. Danhof

Peggy J. Danhof has served as a trustee of the Fountaindale Public Library District, Bolingbrook, for twenty-four years, from 1984 to 1988 and from 1998 to the present day. Peggy is a tireless advocate for her library. As President, she led the campaign to build a new library, with a successful referendum in February 2008. The new LEED Gold Certified building opened in 2011, with more than 96,000 square feet to serve its growing community. In addition to her work on the library board, Peggy has given generously of her time in service to the larger library community. She is an active member of United for Libraries and served as the Charter Co-President when this new Division of ALA began in 2009. She has also served as chair of several United for Libraries committees, including Leaders Orientation. She has served on the ALA/APA Library Support Staff Certification Review Committee, been a member of the Ethnic & Mulitcultural Information Exchange Roundtable, and currently serves on the ALA/Training, Orientation and Leadership Development Committee. In Illinois, she has served as a member of the ILA Advocacy Committee, the ILA Awards Committee, and the 2012 ILA Conference Program Committee. Most significantly, Peggy is a dedicated member of the Illinois Library Trustee Forum, having served as President for two terms. Under her leadership, the Forum has expanded its continuing-education offerings for library trustees. In 2010, Peggy was named Trustee of the Year by the Illinois Library Association. That same year, she was selected as the American Library Association’s Outstanding Trustee of the Year.

Inducted November 30, 2017

Keith Michael Fiels

Keith Michael Fiels served as executive director of the 55,000-member American Library Association (ALA) headquartered in Chicago, from 2002 to 2017. Prior to coming to ALA, he served as director of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. Under his leadership, ALA established a new Office for Library Advocacy that provided expanded support for state and local advocacy efforts around the country, including the Libraries Transform public awareness campaign, which now involves 6,000 libraries. A new ALA Center for the Future of Libraries promotes innovation and creativity in libraries, ALA’s professional publishing and professional development programs have grown dramatically, as well as outreach to library trustee and Friends groups. Most recently, ALA fought back an attempt by the new administration to eliminate all federal funding for libraries. In Massachusetts, he worked with the state legislature to secure over $500 million in state funds for public library reconstruction and to provide universal access to shared online systems and the collective resources of thousands of Massachusetts libraries. Fiels has also served as president of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA), as the founding director of a library consortium in New Jersey, and as a library development consultant for the New York and New Jersey state libraries. Over the course of his 48-year career, he has worked as a public librarian, a school librarian, and as an independent library consultant. He is co-author of a number of books on planning and technology, and has spoken about libraries at hundreds of conferences, workshops, and other public events.

Inducted August 17, 2017

Phil Lenzini

Phil Lenzini is an attorney at law based in Peoria and represents more than 200 public libraries throughout the state of Illinois. A longtime champion of libraries and the services they provide, Lenzini is a regular presenter at programs held by the Illinois State Library and at Illinois Library Association annual conferences. In addition, he participates in dozens of continuing education events for various library clients and library systems. Among his many activities, he drafts policies and legal commentary for the Administrative Ready Reference page on the Illinois Secretary of State’s website. As an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association, Lenzini serves the state and his library clients as a member of the local government law committee. Through that committee, he lobbies members of the Illinois General Assembly on areas of interest to libraries and other municipal entities, especially with respect to unintended budgetary consequences of proposed legislation. Lenzini received his B.A degree from Southern Illinois University (SIU) in 1972 and his J.D. in the charter class of SIU’s School of Law in 1976.

Inducted August 17, 2017

Pam Van Kirk

Pam Van Kirk’s library career started with typing catalog cards at the Western Illinois Library System when she was sixteen years old. She was encouraged to attend graduate school in library science after college graduation. In 2010, she retired as director of the Galesburg Public Library after a long career in school and public libraries, serving as president of the Illinois Library Association in 2012-2013. Van Kirk believed that a library should be relevant to all potential users, and worked tirelessly to make the Galesburg Public Library highly visible with the assistance of a hardworking staff, supportive board, and appreciative customers. Whether she appeared as “Lizzie,” the library mascot; choreographed a book cart drill team; coordinated P.I.G. (sixty decorated life-sized pigs in Galesburg); or led cheers as an elf at the holiday parade, she made sure that residents knew about library services and programming. Van Kirk was a member of the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce, served on the board of the Downtown Galesburg Business Association, and participated on numerous committees. She served on the board of directors for the Illinois Center for the Book and the Alliance Library System, presenting and participating in regional and statewide library conferences, workshops, and events. Honors include being named Administrator of the Year by the Alliance Library System and a Paul Harris Fellow for her contributions to Galesburg. Van Kirk always wanted libraries to be vibrant, welcoming places. She was often the loudest person in the library and sometimes had to be quieted by customers or students. A mentor to many librarians throughout central Illinois and an advocate for collaboration, her cheerful attitude and can-do spirit have left a positive mark on the Illinois library community.

Inducted August 17, 2017

Deirdre Brennan

Deirdre Brennan has been an enthusiastic and tireless advocate for resource sharing and multitype library cooperation throughout her career. She consistently works to remove barriers to bring as many participants to the resource-sharing table as possible, no matter what their library type, size, or financial capability. Her underlying philosophy is that we are “stronger together.” At the start of her career in Massachusetts, Brennan worked to increase statewide library funding and to reorganize three public library systems into six multitype systems. Upon coming to Illinois, she served as executive director of Oak Park Public Library and led that library to receive Library Journal’s highly coveted five-star designation and a 97 percent approval rating from residents. As chair of the Illinois Library Association’s (ILA) Public Policy Committee, Brennan wrote a grant that led to the groundbreaking Future of Illinois Library Cooperation project, which she co-chaired. As executive director of the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) since 2013, she initiated grants to help libraries join shared catalogs and for libraries of different types to collaborate on innovative projects. She led efforts to change Illinois administrative rules to include continuing education and consulting as core system services. She initiated the outsourcing of delivery to improve service and helped bring affordable access to e-resources to all Illinois residents. Brennan consistently looks for ways to share RAILS services with libraries throughout Illinois. She has reinvented system services while maintaining a healthy financial reserve. In 2016, she received ILA’s 2016 Hugh C. Atkinson award to honor her resource sharing efforts.

Inducted June 15, 2017

Kathy Parker

Kathy Parker’s library career began in second grade, shelving books at her elementary school library, continued at her high school library, and led to her first job at the Tinley Park Public Library at age seventeen. Her public library career has spanned more than thirty-five years and included working in the circulation, children’s, interlibrary loan, adult reference, and bookmobile departments, as well as eight years as a law library assistant for two law firms in Chicago. Upon earning her MLS, Parker worked as the assistant director at the Harvey Public Library District before becoming the director at the Glenwood-Lynwood Public Library District in 2002. During her tenure at Glenwood-Lynwood, she started a new bookmobile and outreach service, passed a successful bond referendum, and built a $6-million library facility. She is committed to promoting and providing continuing education opportunities for library staff and trustees and was a founding member of ATLAS (Area Training for Librarians and Staff) and Directors University, a statewide program for new library directors begun in 2017. Over the years, she has served on many library committees and boards within Illinois, including trustee at the Tinley Park Public Library and serving as both president and treasurer of the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS). She is also the 2016 recipient of the American Library Association’s Trustee Citation. Parker earned her undergraduate degree in communications at DePaul University and obtained her master’s in library science from Dominican University.

Inducted June 15, 2017

Becky Siegel Spratford

What began as a test—working in a Chicago law firm library just to make sure she didn’t want to be a lawyer—quickly became a calling, and today, Becky Siegel Spratford’s name is synonymous with Readers’ Advisory. Spratford co-created the Readers’ Advisory department at the Berwyn Public Library and worked there from 2000 to 2015. For eight of those years, she also taught the Readers’ Advisory course to hundreds of students at Dominican University in River Forest. She now brings training directly to libraries, influencing thousands of library workers through programs and her critically-acclaimed blog, RA for All. The author of the The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror, she also writes for EBSCO's NoveList database, Booklist, and Library Journal. She is a member of the Illinois Adult Reading Roundtable (ARRT) Steering Committee and the Illinois Library Association (ILA), serving on the 2014 ILA Annual Conference Committee. Spratford was president of the La Grange Public Library Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2011 and was recently elected to her fifth term. She holds a BA in American Studies from Amherst College and an MLIS from Dominican University.

Inducted June 15, 2017

Carla Hayden

Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress on September 14, 2016. Hayden, the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library, was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama on February 24, 2016, and her nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 13. Prior to her latest post she served, since 1993, as CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland. Hayden was nominated by President Obama to be a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board in January 2010 and was confirmed to that post by the Senate in June 2010. Prior to joining the Pratt Library, Hayden was deputy commissioner and chief librarian of the Chicago Public Library from 1991 to 1993. She was an assistant professor for Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh from 1987 to 1991. Hayden was library services coordinator for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago from 1982 to 1987. She began her career with the Chicago Public Library as the young adult services coordinator from 1979 to 1982 and as a library associate and children’s librarian from 1973 to 1979. Hayden was president of the American Library Association from 2003 to 2004. In 1995, she was the first African American to receive Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year Award in recognition of her outreach services at the Pratt Library, which included an after-school center for Baltimore teens offering homework assistance and college and career counseling. Hayden received a B.A. from Roosevelt University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago.

Inducted February 9, 2017

Ruth Gregory, 1901-2001

Ruth Gregory was the head librarian of the Waukegan Public Library from 1935 to 1976, and active in both state and national library associations throughout her career. She was a member of the American Library Association (ALA), serving on ALA Council and the ALA Executive Board, and was president of the Public Library Association in 1954-55.  In 1976, Gregory was named Librarian of Year by the Illinois Library Association. She also taught librarianship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at Drexel University in Philadelphia.  After retiring from the Waukegan Public Library, Gregory consulted with more than fifty libraries on new buildings, collection development, and administrative issues.  She authored a number of professional publications including the American Library Association’s Anniversaries and Holidays, 3rd edition, 1975, and 4th edition, 1983; co-authored Public Libraries in Cooperative Systems, 1971; and served as an editor for Public Libraries, the official journal of the Public Library Association. Gregory held degrees from the University of Nebraska and what is now the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Inducted February 9, 2017

Mark Sorensen

Mark Sorensen has served public libraries, both professionally and privately since 1982. After a career of twenty-one years with the Illinois State Archives, he retired as assistant director. Sorensen was instrumental in maintaining records management systems for all Illinois public libraries, as well as creating traveling exhibits for display at libraries throughout the state. In 1988, he was put in charge of two commissions to add artwork to the State Capitol in commemoration of its 100th anniversary. He has served as Official Macon County Historian since appointment by the county board in 2004 and is a past president of the Illinois State Historical Society.  Sorensen is also a past president and current member of the Decatur Public Library Board, was vice president for public programs for the Friends organization, a member of the library foundation, and a consulting archivist for both the Decatur and Moweaqua libraries. While president of the Decatur library, a program for special library services for Macon County businesses was instituted that served as a model for other libraries throughout the state.  A recipient of the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award from the Illinois Humanities Council and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society, Sorensen is also a member of the American Library Association, Society of American Archivists, Midwest Archives Conference, and a Charter member of the Academy of Certified Archivists. He holds degrees from Eastern Illinois University, the University of Illinois Springfield, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in education, history, and library and information science.  

Inducted February 9, 2017


Carol Iffland Todd

Carol Iffland Todd worked in public, special, and system libraries in Illinois for nearly thirty years. Born in Massachusetts and educated in Michigan (MALS from University of Michigan), she made Illinois her home. After starting her career at the La Grange Public Library in 1969, she became the first degreed children’s librarian at the Woodridge Public Library. During her tenure, she implemented several innovative programs that would soon become professional standards, including classes in 8mm film animation. She also worked to bring renowned authors to the small library, including Sid Fleischman, whose original drawings are still on display there. The Woodridge Rotary Club presented her with a certificate of recognition for her work with handicapped children. After a move to New Jersey, she returned to Illinois and joined the Burr Oak Library System as a children’s consultant and general consultant, working on the statewide summer reading initiative that evolved into iREAD. She later directed the Lemont Public Library and taught at St. Xavier University before accepting her capstone position with Bellcore Tec (a national telecommunications training center) in Lisle. She ran the center’s staff library for thirteen years until her retirement in 1997. While at Bellcore, she earned a Master of Adult and Continuing Education degree from National Louis University. She was active in LACONI, the Suburban and Burr Oak Library Systems, the Illinois Library Association, the American Library Association, and the Special Library Association. She served as guest editor and wrote articles for issues of Illinois Libraries. Her diverse and varied career had a widespread impact on our profession, a model for future generations of librarians.

Inducted December 1, 2016

Alexander W. Todd, Jr., 1928-2023

Alex Todd was the director of the Fountaindale Public Library District (FPLD) for twenty-six years and helped the district’s two library buildings grow with their communities. Born in 1928 in Vandalia and growing up in Belleville, Todd attended the United States Naval Academy and had a twenty-five-year naval career prior to joining the library profession. He earned his MLS from Drexel University in 1972 and served as director of the Pitman Public Library in New Jersey before moving his family to Bolingbrook in 1974 to lead FPLD. Todd has always been a strong advocate for libraries having their own dedicated funding. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he traveled the state along with Jane Shaw, Pam Feather, and Marlene Deuel, encouraging library boards to form library districts. In 1986, Todd worked with his board president Hilary Rosenthal to write the “Standards for the Public Library” section of the first edition of the Trustee Facts File, published by the Illinois Library Association. His work gained him recognition as ILA’s Librarian of the Year in 1986, and even today, twenty years after his retirement, librarians around the state still ask about him and send their good wishes. He has left an indelible mark on Illinois libraries professionally, structurally, and personally.

Inducted December 1, 2016

Richard Shurman

As the administrator of Cooperative Computer Services (CCS) until retiring in 2015 after almost twenty-eight years of leadership, Shurman embodies the spirit of library cooperation in Illinois. He began his career with the DuPage Library System (DLS) where he worked to develop the system’s first consortium for sharing resources. During his tenure at CCS, it grew into a consortium of twenty-four public libraries in the north and northwest suburbs of Chicago with 650,000 cardholders, over one million titles, and 5.6 million item records. Shurman achieved all this through building consensus among members with considerable differences in budget, population, geographic location, or governmental structure. Large city libraries like Evanston and Des Plaines worked together with small district libraries, such as Lincolnwood and Prospect Heights; libraries in Wilmette and Lake Forest found common ground with libraries in Crystal Lake and Huntley. Each library has a unique constituency, unique board of trustees, and unique sets of priorities. Shurman’s leadership style ensured that every viewpoint had the opportunity to be heard and each member was provided with unbiased information to reach a decision. His professional memberships include state and national organizations and active participation in user groups, and he has served on committees and presented at conferences throughout his career, sharing his expertise on consortia with eager audiences.

Inducted December 1, 2016

Kiplund (Kip) Kolkmeier

Anyone who cares about what happens to libraries in Illinois has had occasion to thank Kip Kolkmeier, longtime legislative consultant for the Illinois Library Association (ILA). He was hired as ILA’s lobbyist in 1996 and remains an effective voice for Illinois libraries today. 

His presence and relationships in Springfield have kept libraries from getting lost in the shuffle, and made dozens of friends for libraries in the Illinois General Assembly. With Kolkmeier’s hard work, guidance, and dedication, the Illinois library community both opposed and supported key library legislation, including the defeat of eighteen legislative attempts for statewide mandatory filters.

No one has been more generous with his time, monitoring thousands of bills in every session, attending ILA Public Policy Committee and Executive Board meetings to make sure positions were well thought-out and defensible. Whether presenting testimony in Springfield or speaking at conferences, meetings, or workshops, he not only superbly represents the library community, but keeps everyone informed about the issues, the process, and the core values of libraries. His signature sense of humor has converted even the reluctant into ardent library advocates.

An attorney, Kolkmeier was a partner at Sidley & Austin for many years, and is currently Senior Counsel at Perkins Coie, LLP. He is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago School of Law and Stanford University.

Inducted July 21, 2016

Jesse White

Jesse White became Illinois’s longest serving Illinois Secretary of State on May 30, 2014, which also makes him the longest serving Illinois State Librarian and State Archivist. White’s tenure has been an asset to libraries in the state budgeting process, protecting them from the most severe cost-cutting in lean years. In addition to overseeing the state library and literacy programs as well as the archives of significant legal and historical records, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office performs a wide variety of tasks, ranging from driver and vehicle services to registering corporations and enforcing the Illinois Securities Act. White was first elected to the office in 1998 and was re-elected to a record-breaking fifth term in 2014.

Prior to his election as Illinois Secretary of State, White served as Cook County Recorder of Deeds and was a member of the Illinois General Assembly for sixteen years. He is perhaps best known for founding the Jesse White Tumbling Team as a positive alternative for children residing in and around the Chicago area. White served as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army and as a member of the Illinois National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve. He played professional baseball with the Chicago Cubs organization, followed by a thirty-three-year career with the Chicago public school system. White earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Alabama State College (now Alabama State University) in 1957.

Inducted April 22, 2016

Allen Lanham

Allen Lanham epitomizes a breadth of service to Illinois libraries that would be difficult to duplicate. As professor and dean of library services at Eastern Illinois University for twenty-five years, he still found time to serve on public library and library system boards, and be elected president of the Illinois Library Association, and serve on its board and too many committees to mention. Among his many recognitions and awards, he was named ILA Academic Librarian of the Year in 2008. Lanham is a regular contributor to the ILA Reporter, with a distinctive style and wit, and is a keen observer of trends and changes in the library profession. His perspective takes in points of view across the spectrum, from new librarians to old hands, public to academic, local and state to national.

During his tenure at Eastern, he encouraged a wide range of library programming in the arts and humanities and has been the principal investigator for Art and Architecture in Illinois Libraries since 2006. He has consulted for libraries in Central and South America and Africa. Prior to his impressive career in libraries, Lanham was a professor of music in Puerto Rico and an instrumental music teacher, holding a doctorate in music education from the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester. He received his master’s in library science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Inducted April 22, 2016

Barbara Ford

Despite a career that spanned continents, Barbara Ford made an indelible impression on libraries in Illinois. As director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs and Mortenson Distinguished Professor at the Library of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign until her retirement in 2014, Ford brought librarians from all over the world to programs and events statewide.

Earlier in her career she held a number of positions at the University of Illinois at Chicago, also held leadership positions in academic libraries in Texas and Virginia, and served as president of the American Library Association (ALA) and Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), both based in Chicago. Ford’s international involvement began as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama and Nicaragua and continued with her service as an elected member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Governing Board.

The author of many publications and presentations, she traveled the world to address topics such as information literacy, government information, the future of libraries, the role of library associations, international cooperation among libraries, among other topics. Ford holds a bachelor's degree in history and education from Illinois Wesleyan University, a master's degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a master's degree in library science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Inducted April 22, 2016

Kathy McSwain

Building on her love of children and appreciation of children's literature, Kathy McSwain began her professional career as a children's librarian at the Bedford Park Public Library in 1981 after earning an MLS from Rosary College (now Dominican University). In 1987 she became head of youth services at the Chicago Ridge Public Library and was named director in 1999, serving the library and community for 28 years. She is the personification of why "Libraries Matter,” and understands the value of library advocacy. McSwain chaired the ILA Advocacy Committee and worked on the Illinois Library Day Legislative Breakfast at the Illinois State Library, which earned her the admiration and respect of her peers. She received the Robert McClarren Legislative Development Award in 2010. McSwain has been active in the profession serving on the governing boards of professional organizations such as the Library Administrators Conference of Northern Illinois (LACONI) and Area Training for Library Administrators and Staff (ATLAS), and has mentored countless librarians, always being generous in sharing her expertise with those new to the profession. Her proudest accomplishment is to see patrons who visited the library as children now bringing their own children to the library.

Inducted February 5, 2016

Carolyn Anthony

It’s hard to imagine someone who has given more time and energy to the library profession than Carolyn Anthony. In addition to her position as director of the Skokie Public Library, serving a diverse population of 65,000 just north of Chicago, she has served as president of the Public Library Association (PLA), as well as president of the Illinois Library Association (ILA). Other activities, awards, and accolades are many, including being named Illinois Librarian of the Year (2003) and Skokie Public Library’s receipt of the National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in 2008.

Through her involvement with PLA, Anthony initiated the development of easy-to-use Outcome Measures that could be widely adopted by public libraries throughout the U.S. and was instrumental in the design and implementation of the first PLA Leadership Academy. In 2014, she was named as the public library co-chair of the ALA Digital Content Work Group, addressing the rapid shift from print to digital content facing libraries. That same year, Skokie Public Library was recognized as the top innovator in Organizational Change and Strategic Management by the Urban Libraries Council.  

Anthony began her library career as a reference librarian at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, moving on to the Baltimore County Public Library before joining the staff in Skokie in 1985. She has a BA from Colby College and an MLS from the University of Rhode Island.

Inducted January 19, 2016


Cyndi Robinson

Event management is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it suits Cyndi Robinson. As the conference and continuing education manager for the Illinois Library Association (ILA) since 2000, she has orchestrated literally hundreds of events for librarians, support staff, library vendors, legislators, and trustees. She has won the respect and admiration of her peers and colleagues, solving problems with grace under pressure. Prior to joining ILA, Robinson served as program manager and then associate director for the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom from 1992-1998. She continues her involvement in intellectual freedom issues by serving as the current chair-elect of ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Round Table. Active in her community, she has served on the board of the Riverside Art Center since 2012, becoming president in 2015. A graduate of Loyola University with a bachelor’s degree in history, Robinson received her MLIS from Dominican University in 1997.

Inducted October 2, 2015

Ronald Winner, 1952-2015

Thanks to Ron Winner’s tireless efforts in education and training, a whole generation of Illinois library staff is knowledgeable about resource sharing, delivery, and standards for service.  Without his devotion to his work, Illinois' model resource sharing network would not be as vibrant and robust as it is today. His administrative, consulting, and teaching career spanned more than thirty-seven years, working at the Illinois State Library in Springfield, Western Illinois Library System in Galesburg, Alliance Library System in Galesburg and East Peoria, Illinois State University, and Western Illinois University. He served as state data coordinator for Illinois' Public Library Statistics from 2005-2011, as a library consultant from 1982-2005, and chaired the Illinois State Library Delivery Advisory Committee from 2013-2014. Winner was a member of the Illinois Library Association's Task Force to revise public library standards, Illinois School Library Media Association Board (Ex-officio), and ILLINET Interlibrary Loan Code Revision Committee. A native of Jacksonville, Illinois, he graduated from Illinois State University in 1974 and received a master’s in library science from Rosary College, now Dominican University. Honors and awards included Milner Library's Honored Alumni from Illinois State University in 2012, and the Francis Keppel Award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

Inducted October 2, 2015

Donald C. Adcock

It is no wonder that many of us who have worked in and been associated with school libraries hold Don Adcock in high regard. He is still the person we go to with questions about how school libraries operated, have changed, and been influenced by educational forces around them. He is historian and mentor, and his grasp of school library issues and influence has it made it possible for many individuals to join the profession. A tireless advocate for school libraries and librarians for over fifty years, he spent twenty-five years as director of Library Services in Glen Ellyn District #41. After joining the staff of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association, he coordinated the $40 million National Library Power Project, an initiative of the DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund. He also served as AASL interim executive director and later as interim director of the School Library Program at Dominican University. Active in many library associations including the Illinois Library Association (ILA), Adcock has been generous with his time and dedication to the profession, serving three terms on the ILA Executive Board and as president of IASL and IAME, ILA’s school library affiliates, as well as holding leadership positions in both national and international organizations. He served as an advisor to many committees of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) pertaining to school libraries and librarians.

Inducted September 2, 2015

Gail Bush

Gail Bush’s passionate career in Illinois libraries spans five decades of service in academic, corporate, school librarianship, and public library trusteeship.  After earning a doctorate in educational psychology, Bush’s tenure as a library practitioner was followed by moving into academia as a professor and director of the School Library Media Program at Dominican University's Graduate School of Library and Information Science.  She later founded the School Library Program in the Department of Reading and Literacy at National Louis University.

Highlights in peer recognition include the 1998 North Suburban Library System School Librarian of the Year; the Illinois School Library Media Association Polestar Award recipient of 2007; and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Graduate School of Library and Information Science Distinguished Alumnae of 2008. She served as president of the Illinois Library Association in 2010-2011 and has been involved in state, regional, national, and international associations.  A prolific grant writer, author, and frequent conference presenter and workshop facilitator, Bush publishes in both the education and library fields and serves on numerous editorial boards.

While she relishes her diverse career in service to Illinois library users, it is the bounty of her many library graduate students who continue to illuminate the field with their dedication and leadership that is the most rewarding.

Inducted July 23, 2015

Janice Sherman

During her thirty-six-year career, Janice Sherman’s mission was to raise people’s expectations of what libraries can do and be; and then, to exceed those expectations.  Starting from a small storefront library, through two building programs, the Morton Public Library is now the busiest library in Tazewell County.  As an early adopter of technology, the library made computers available to the public beginning in 1980, including the first Macintosh in 1984.  Sherman was a founding member of the Resource Sharing Alliance, received the Alliance Library System’s (ALS) Technology Award in 1998, and Librarian of the Year Award in 2004.  She represented ALS in system merger negotiations in 2011 and encouraged cooperation among local libraries and other partners.  When a tornado struck in 2013, destroying hundreds of homes in nearby communities, Sherman offered the Morton Public Library as a collection and retrieval point for the many personal photographs and documents that were scattered by the storm.  For this unique service, the library received a special commendation from the 98th Illinois General Assembly.  Sherman earned her master’s degree from Dominican University and inspired multiple staff members to obtain library science degrees.  Whether mentoring in the Synergy program, participating in a librarians’ delegation to China, or working with staff and board members, her vision and enthusiasm are unmistakable.

Inducted June 12, 2015

Joyce Saricks

In her twenty-seven years as a readers’ advisory librarian at Downers Grove Public Library, Joyce Saricks spent her days connecting readers with books. She literally wrote the book, Readers’ Advisory Service in the Public Library, talked the talk and walked the walk.

 As a founding member of Illinois’ Adult Reading Round Table and an adjunct professor at Dominican University, she shared her passion and skill for readers’ advisory with generations of librarians. Her national reputation, coupled with her collaborative spirit and infectious enthusiasm, has made Illinois one of the most respected centers of readers’ advisory work in the country. Saricks has been a columnist and reviewer for Booklist since 2001 and currently serves as audio editor, as well as a contributor to EBSCO’s NoveList.

Among her many honors and awards, she received the Allie Beth Martin Award (1989) from the Public Library Association, Margaret E. Monroe Award (2011) from ALA’s Reference and User Services Association, and the Librarian of the Year Award (2000) from the Romance Writers of America. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and German from the University of Kansas, as well master’s degrees in comparative literature from the University of Wisconsin and teaching and library science from the University of Chicago.

Inducted June 12, 2015

Hugh C. Atkinson, 1933-1986

Hugh C. Atkinson served as director of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) libraries for ten years, from 1976 until his death at age 53 in 1986. During that time, he led efforts in automation and statewide resource sharing and championed library cooperation, becoming a role model for generations to come. His willingness to take risks resulted in major changes in library service.

Prior to coming to Illinois, Atkinson served as director of libraries at Ohio State University and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago. His entry in the Dictionary of American Library Biography reads in part: “…Atkinson brought an enthusiasm for library automation, a far-seeing appreciation of computer technology’s impact on library service, and a desire to create a system that would bring the benefits of the UIUC library to all the taxpayers of Illinois and bring all the library resources of Illinois to the UIUC community.”

At the time of his untimely death in 1986, the chancellor of the University of Illinois called him “the best university librarian in the country.” Both the American Library Association and the Illinois Library Association have established Hugh C. Atkinson awards in his honor.

Inducted April 24, 2015

Mary Dempsey

Mary Dempsey was appointed Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library (CPL) in 1994 by Mayor Richard M. Daley and reappointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2011. She served the City of Chicago in that role for nearly two decades until her retirement in 2012.  Words cannot fully express Mary’s passion and commitment to public service and public libraries.  She is a visionary leader, mentor and dedicated advocate for libraries.

Under her direction, 44 new libraries were constructed in Chicago, 13 of which are LEED certified; all libraries were equipped with state of the art technology including free computers and WiFi, access to the Internet and research databases, rich book collections, innovative reading and learning initiatives like One Book, One Chicago, YOUmedia, Teacher in the Library, Money Smart, author talks, and early literacy programs for ages 0 – 5.  Two strategic plans for CPL were created and implemented under her direction.

With the Chicago Public Library Foundation, Mary raised the Carl Sandburg Literary Awards to national prominence. Through her outreach with the Foundation, CPL developed many partners including the Gates Library Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, McCormick Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, Kraft Foods, Target Corporation, Bank of America, Com Ed, People’s Gas, Federal Reserve Bank, Chicago Humanities Festival, Printers Row Book Festival, Chicago Park District, Archdiocese of Chicago Schools, and Chicago Public Schools to develop and present educational programs and services that continue to enhance lifelong learning and quality of life for all Chicagoans.

Inducted April 24, 2015

Lee A. Logan

Lee A. Logan has served the Illinois library community since 1974. As director of consulting and continuing education for the Alliance Library System starting in 2002, he worked closely with its 252 member libraries until the system closed in 2010. He was a champion to all libraries regardless of size or type.

Logan began his career as a media specialist with the DePue Unit Schools #103, then joined the Alpha Park Public Library District as a public services librarian and later as a trustee. He worked with the Illinois Valley Library System, which joined three other library systems in 1994-1995 to become the Alliance Library System. He was president of the Illinois Library Association and co-chaired the ILA Annual Conference four times, as well as chairing ILA’s Legislative Day in Springfield and co-chairing the Illinois delegation to National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C.

He received the ALA/ASCLA Leadership Achievement Award (2007), Ray Howser Staff Recognition Award (1992), Robert R. McClarren Legislative Development Award (2004), and the Alliance Library System Staff Award (2009). Logan has been a mentor for librarians for over twenty-six years, consulting on library law, legislation, governance, personnel and finance. If the libraries in the Alliance Library System needed help, he was the person to call.

Inducted February 6, 2015

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Nancy Gillfillan

After Gillfillan's retirement from the Fondulac District Library in 2005, she continued to impact and inspire the library profession by teaching the Administration & Management of Libraries and Information Centers course for seven years at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at University of Illinois. Nancy Gillfillan has dedicated more than 30 years to the Illinois library community. Spending the majority of her career at the Dixon Public Library, her accomplishments include introducing the rural community to library automation and Internet access. She extended her passion for libraries to the greater Illinois community by presenting at a wide variety of conferences and workshops and serving on a variety of committees. Her committee work included serving as President of the University of Illinois Graduate Library School Alumni Association in 2001, a member of the ILA Conference Committee from 1991-1995, a member of the ILA Executive Board from 1997-2000, and as ILA president in 2003.

Inducted September 19, 2014

Pat Norris, 1948-2014

In 2002 Norris helped design ISL’s leadership program Synergy, whose graduates occupy positions of leadership throughout the nation. Her leadership on the development and implementation of the technology skills program ILEAD U (Illinois Libraries Explore, Apply and Discover: The 21stCentury Technology Tools Institute for Illinois Library Staff), broadened her reach to new audiences.Patricia Ann Norris joined the Illinois State Library (ISL) in 1986, originally recruited to revamp its scholarship program for library school students in Illinois. She served as the associate director in charge of ISL’s Library Development Group and her career was marked by wholehearted dedication to quality continuing education for all library staff. The Small Public Library Management Institute (SPLMI), which began in 1994, was her concept and set new standards for support and mentoring.

In 2012 she assembled the team that managed the 2013 Public Library Construction Grant Act to award $50 million for public library construction. She served as the Illinois Coordinator for the White House Conference on Libraries, 1988-1990, guiding over 900 people, including many citizen representatives, through the process of thinking creatively about challenges and directions of the Illinois and national library communities. She worked in every type of library—public, academic, school, and special—and was a trusted mentor and friend to countless Illinois library staff.

Inducted February 7, 2014

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Valerie Wilford, 1939-2016

Valerie J. Wilford retired as executive director of the Alliance Library System after a forty-year career improving libraries and librarianship in Illinois. She was a colleague, instructor, and mentor to hundreds of librarians, noted for her leadership, creativity, and enterprise. On the state level, she served as ILA President in 1984, was honored as ILA's Librarian of the Year in 1992, and received the Hugh Atkinson Award for contributions to multi-type library cooperation and resource-sharing. National recognition included ALA's Margaret E. Monroe Award and ASCLA's Leadership Achievement Award for setting new standards in cooperation among all types of libraries.

She spearheaded the first national virtual conference for the American Association of School Libraries (AASL) and developed a FREENET for rural libraries. Wilford is a member of the American Library Association, the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, the Illinois Library Association, the American Association of School Librarians, and the Illinois School Library and Media Association.

Wilford has a bachelor's degree in education from Illinois State University and a master's degree in library science from the University of Illinois. Her studies included post-graduate work at the University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, and Illinois State University.

Inducted November 15, 2013

Sally Decker Smith

“With every new experience, I always try to learn enough to help other people.” That statement from Sally Decker Smith exemplifies her long career serving as a trusted mentor to innumerable colleagues. When Northern Illinois University presented her with a library degree, they presented an inspirational role model to the library world. An active member of the Illinois Library Association, serving on numerous committees and as a mentor to new librarians, Smith reviews resumes at conferences, offering constructive criticism and a sincere ear. She willingly shares her expertise with everyone from new librarians and new trustees to new managers and first-time public speakers. She embodies the notion that she succeeds only when helping others to succeed.

A former staff member at Indian Trails Public Library District, she authored the popular “Sally in Libraryland” column for the ILA Reporter for more than twenty years. Always entertaining and often thought provoking, her column makes you feel like you received a letter from a personal friend. Her extraordinary ability to drill down to a core issue, an innate grasp of reality, and a natural flare for humor, draws enthusiastic audiences to her speaking engagements. To put it simply, she inspires!

Inducted September 30, 2013

A. Denise Farrugia

A. Denise Farrugia is to be credited with establishing the framework for running a financially successful iREAD program, now one of the cornerstones of the Illinois Library Association. As a three-time chair of the iREAD Committee, she established iREAD’s popularity and credibility with libraries in Illinois. While she was not the first chair of the program, she developed an annual calendar, step-by-step procedures, goals and deadlines, all contributing to the sustainability of the project for those who followed in her footsteps.

A recipient of the Illinois Library Association’s Davis Cup Award, Farrugia has devoted her professional life to youth services librarianship and storytelling. She has been a storyteller at the Illinois State Fair, past president of the Lincoln Story League, coordinated twenty trips to the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, and received the National Storytelling Network Oracle Award for the North Central Region in 2003. Currently youth services manager at the St. Charles Public Library District, she has also worked for the Glen Ellyn and Woodridge Public Libraries.

Inducted September 30, 2013

Rose Allen

Rose Allen's library career began in 1969 and in 1987, she starting working at the Mount Prospect Public Library (MPPL) as a library assistant. After raising her family, she returned to school, earning a bachelor's degree from Northern Illinois University (NIU) and a master's in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) while working full time.

She served on the ILA Reaching Forward Committee, ALA Support Staff Round Table, and was instrumental in forming a support staff group at MPPL. She was elected to the ILA Executive Board and served on numerous ILA committees, including Awards, Membership, Cultural and Racial Diversity committees, and is a recipient of the Jane O'Brien Award recognizing her work.

After becoming teen services librarian at MPPL, her leadership and outreach efforts expanded the library's visibility and her positive impact on the community was acknowledged when awarded the "Toast of the Town" award by the Village of Mount Prospect. She has served on young adult committees with both ILA and ALA, reviewing books, and speaking, moderating and providing displays at programs.

Allen's love for reading developed at an early age, overcoming Maryland segregation laws that barred her from the library. Mentored by her school librarian, she read everything her family could buy, borrow or were given.

Inducted June 14, 2013

Beverly Lynch

Beverly Lynch has a long and distinguished record in librarianship in Illinois and nationally as a librarian, library educator, and library leader.

She became executive director of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, in 1972. Following that, she served as university librarian and professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 1977 to 1989. Lynch was president of the American Library Association in 1985-86 and twice served as interim president of the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago.

Her tenure at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) includes serving as dean and professor in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA, founding director of the California Rare Book School, and directing the UCLA Senior Fellows Program.

Lynch has received many honors and awards, including the Melvil Dewey Medal (2012) and the Lippincott Award (2009), both awarded by the American Library Association. She holds a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

Inducted April 26, 2013

Lynn M. Hammerlund, 1959-2016

Lynn M. Hammerlund is one of Illinois’ unsung heroes who quietly goes about the business of ensuring that her hometown library functions at the highest level, that her peers and colleagues are taught the principles of librarianship well, and that her students are information-literacy overachievers.

She was appointed to the Algonquin Area Public Library District (AAPLD) Board of Trustees in 1988 and has served twenty-four consecutive years, twenty of them as board president. As trustee and president, Hammerlund has done all the big things that allowed AAPLD to become a Library Journal 4 Star Library. She led two successful referenda resulting in the construction of a new 35,000-square-foot central library and the renovation of an 18,000-square-foot branch library. From 1988 through 2002, she led the library district through eight successful annexations of the Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, and Carey communities.

Hammerlund earned her master’s in library and information studies at Northern Illinois University and is a key part of the library staff at Judson University, with a thirty-year tenure as associate professor. In 2012 she was a winning contestant on Jeopardy, cementing the reputation of librarians as very smart people.

Inducted February 8, 2013

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Diana Hunter

Diana Hunter has served on the board of the Skokie Public Library for more than forty years. First appointed in 1969, she was re-elected numerous times in her long and noteworthy career. She became president of the board in 1980 and served as president or vice president thereafter.

In 1982 Hunter inaugurated the “Young Steinway Concert Series” with the acquisition of a Steinway piano, offering a showcase for young musicians and Hunter’s vision of the library as a cultural center. A continual source of ideas and inspiration, Diana brought numerous exhibits and speakers to the library through her many connections in the community and beyond.

She was named Trustee of the Year by the American Library Association (ALA) in 1983 and received the Humanities Service Award from the Illinois Humanities Council in 1999.

As an active member of the Illinois Library Association (ILA) and the Public Library Association (PLA), as well as ALA and United for Libraries: Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), Hunter advocates for libraries at legislative days in Springfield and Washington D.C.

The Skokie Public Library received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute for Museum and Library Service (IMLS) during Hunter’s board presidency in 2008.

Inducted November 9, 2012

Susan K. Roberts, 1947-2007

Throughout her career, Susan Roberts mentored countless new librarians and library directors, encouraging them to join the profession and become colleagues.

She served as administrative librarian of the Grande Prairie Public Library in Hazel Crest from 1993 until 2007. Passionate about library collaboration, she was active in the Illinois Library Association and the Illinois Library Systems, serving on many committees that helped define reference standards, resource sharing, and working on system consolidation issues.

At Grande Prairie, she tirelessly sought grant support for programs and events that ranged from training library volunteers to read to children in homeless shelters to library advocacy and bringing together community stakeholders. She was the impetus for a statewide effort dubbed Capped Crusaders that sought to inform legislators about the impact of tax caps on libraries and advocate for tax cap relief in Illinois communities.

Earlier in her career, she held positions at the Oak Lawn Public Library, American Medical Association, and Governors State University.

Inducted November 9, 2012

Nancy L. Smith, 1945-2011

Nancy Smith was a Dixon native who earned her MLS degree from the University of Illinois, and devoted more than thirty years to serving Illinois libraries.

She was Director of the Mount Morris Public Library from 1976 to 1985, when she accepted a position at the Dixon Correctional Center, where she worked to establish the prison library. In 1998, Smith went to work for the Prairie Area Library System, where she served as a consultant to public libraries until those positions were eliminated due to budget cuts in 2010.

Through her tireless efforts and her compassion, Smith proved to be the public librarian's best friend. She always found the answers we needed, generally the same day. Her orientation for new library directors and trustees started many of us on the correct path through the maze of legislation and policies within which libraries operate.

Smith was an enthusiastic cheerleader who guided many librarians through the labyrinth of grant applications and other projects. She always managed to make us feel that our questions were not stupid, even when they were.

She was an unassuming individual who avoided the limelight, but her mentorship meant so much to so many in the Illinois library community.

Inducted June 15, 2012

Tobi Oberman and Tom Rich

Tobi Oberman and Tom Rich are founding members of the Reaching Forward Conference, and currently serve as co-chairs. The inaugural Reaching Forward Conference was held in 1990 to serve the continuing education needs of library support staff. Now in its third decade, Reaching Forward is the nation’s premier one-day conference serving library staff at all levels.

Under Oberman and Rich’s leadership, Reaching Forward has provided education opportunities to tens of thousands of library staff in Illinois. The Reaching Forward Committee recognized their contributions by naming an award in their honor, the Oberman-Rich Award, acknowledging the contributions of a support staff member to the library community by providing a scholarship to attend the Reaching Forward Conference.

After years of working in partnership with the Illinois Library Association (ILA), they oversaw the process by which Reaching Forward became a forum of ILA. Obermand and Rich have served ILA in many capacities. Both have served on the Executive Board, on multiple ILA Annual Conference Program Committees, and on the ILA Awards Committee. Oberman has also served on an exhibitor relations task force and the ILA Nominating Committee and considers serving on the Executive Director Selection Committee that hired Bob Doyle to be her finest moment of service to the association.

In 1993, they were named the first Public Librarians of the Year by the North Suburban Library System for their work with Reaching Forward. Nationally, they have both served on the ALA Empowerment Conference Planning Committee, bringing the Reaching Forward model to the ALA Annual Conference. Oberman has also served on several ALA Awards Committees.

At the time of induction, Oberman was Head of Circulation Services at Skokie Public Library and Rich was an Independent Library Consultant and serves as President of the Zion-Benton Public Library Board of Trustees.

Inducted February 10, 2012

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Kathleen Balcom

In her thirty-seven-year career as a public librarian, Balcom has been an innovator. She was the director of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library for fifteen years, leading the library through numerous renovations and expansions that nearly doubled the size of the building, making it one of the state's largest.

In 1987, Balcom was elected president of ALA's Public Library Association. She served on the advisory committee for PLA's new long-range planning process. She served as a speaker, a regional trainer and a consultant to area libraries in using the program. She was elected to the ALA Council at-large, as the PLA division councilor, and as the ILA chapter councilor.

In 1997, Balcom was elected President of ILA and led the association during a time of financial crisis. She helped ILA develop a long-range plan, raised funds to continue the association's advocacy program, and helped establish a capital reserve fund to improve financial stability in the future.

Balcom was selected as a mentor for the first national Snowbird Leadership Institute and the first Illinois Synergy Leadership Initiative. Upon her retirement, the Arlington Heights Board of Library Trustees established a scholarship in her honor to assist employees seeking to earn a library degree. In 2004, she was honored as ILA's Librarian of the Year and was given the first Lifetime Achievement Award by the North Suburban Library System.

Inducted November 10, 2011

John W. Berry

Berry’s thirty-six-year career in librarianship, spent almost entirely in Illinois, has included work for the University Libraries of Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Chicago and service as the executive director for the Library Administration and Management Association of the American Library Association.

He is perhaps best known, however, as the executive director of NILRC, the Network of Illinois Learning Resources in Community Colleges, where for almost 15 years, he managed with distinction and dedication a fifty-member learning resources consortium of community colleges, colleges, and universities in Illinois and Missouri. His current role as a professor of librarianship at Dominican University is again another example of his giving nature in support of new librarians.

Berry served as president of the American Library Association from 2001 to 2002 and advanced the cause of library recruitment as one of his important presidential initiatives. In April of 2002, he led a national town hall meeting where he gathered library leaders from around the country to address the need of our profession to recruit enough of the best and the brightest to librarianship.

Berry has always been able to inspire members through his quiet and professional leadership. He is well spoken and articulate on a wide variety of subjects, especially so as it relates to libraries.

Inducted February 11, 2011

Alphonse F. Trezza, 1920-2009

Alphonse F. Trezza was a pioneer in library leadership in the state of Illinois and the nation. As director of the Illinois State Library from 1970 to 1975, he fostered resource sharing among libraries and oversaw the establishment of multi-type cooperative library systems, still recognized as one of the best models for service in the country.

Trezza also served as executive director of the Catholic Library Association; associate executive director of the American Library Association; executive secretary of ALA’s Library Administrative Division (now the Library Association and Management Association); and executive director of the United States National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, where he masterminded the early planning for the White House Conference on Library and Information Services; and professor of the Florida State University School of Library and Information Studies.

His many accolades and awards include the Librarian’s Citation (1974) and Special Librarian’s Citation (1965) from the Illinois Library Association; Honorary Membership (2007), Joseph W. Lippincott Award (1989) and Exceptional Achievement Award of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (1981) from the American Library Association; Outstanding Alumnus Award (1963) from Drexel Graduate School of Library Science; and Professor Emeritus status (1993) upon his retirement from Florida State University.

Inducted February, 11 2011

Sylvia Murphy Williams, 1962-2003

Sylvia Murphy Williams, former ILA President and director of the Dundee Township Public Library, was a visionary leader whose impact on Illinois libraries was profound. Her untimely death in 2003 prompted the formation of the Sylvia Murphy Williams Scholarship Fund that continues to support Illinois recipients of the ALA Spectrum Scholarships.

Williams graduated from DePaul University in 1983 and received her graduate degree in 1993 from Dominican University's Graduate School of Library and Information Science. She began working at the Dundee Township Public Library District in 1995 and previously worked at the Palatine Public Library District (1990-1995) and DePaul University (1980-1990).

She joined ILA in 1993 and was active on both the Membership Committee (1997-1999) and the Cultural and Racial Diversity Committee (1999-2000) before being elected Vice-President/President-Elect in 2001. When she assumed the presidency in 2002, she made it a priority to fight against legislation that would constrain intellectual freedom and privacy.

Williams was also a member of the American Library Association and Public Library Association. Sylvia was a special mentor, a colleague, and precious friend to many. She was radiant. She was so full of life and excitement about her family and her profession that she always graciously welcomed and encouraged others. Her vibrant personality, great sense of humor, and stunning sense of style are still sorely missed.

Inducted February 11, 2011

Vandella Brown

As the recipient of Illinois Library Association's 2010 Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial/DEMCO Award, Vandella Brown has been recognized for her outstanding service to libraries and librarians in Illinois.

Brown was instrumental in developing the Illinois State Library's Diversity Program, which presents nearly forty programs each year. Her work with ILA's Cultural and Racial Diversity Committee has been instrumental in broadening the association's reach, awareness, and membership. She was one of the founding mentors of Synergy: The Library Leadership Initiative, and has worked with libraries to present cultural heritage events in their communities.

Brown has served as the Illinois State Library's ILLINET-OCLC Services director, director of the East St. Louis Public Library, and on the staff of the Columbus Metropolitan Public Library (Ohio) and the Memphis/Shelby County Public Library (Tennessee). She received her Master's Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Iowa.

In 1977 she received recognition for her research contributing to Alex Haley's Roots, the television series. In 1997 her article, "African American Fiction: A Slamming Genre," was published by the American Library Association, and she is the author and contributor to several books including Celebrating the Family: Steps to Planning a Family Reunion and Writing and Publishing: The Librarian's Handbook.

Inducted February 3, 2011

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Robert P. Doyle

Bob Doyle has been executive director of the Illinois Library Association since 1996, leading the association from a position of financial uncertainty to financial security while continually improving the association's advocacy efforts, communications, and continuing education vehicles.

Prior to joining ILA, Doyle worked at the American Library Association (ALA) where he created and secured funding for a Fulbright program for librarians and then reestablished ALA's International Relations Office. As a former staff member of ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, he has worked since the inception of Banned Books Week to produce the necessary materials and resources to make the event an annual celebration of the "right to read." He has served on the board of the Freedom to Read Foundation and received its highest honor, the Roll of Honor Award, in 2009.

Doyle is the author of Banned Books and editor of the ILA Reporter, as well as a regular contributor to national and international library journals and a frequent speaker at conferences and events. He has served two terms as a member of ALA Council and been active in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Doyle holds an MLS from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A Milwaukee native, Doyle has lived in Chicago for many years and began his career in librarianship at the Oak Lawn Public Library.

Inducted November 12, 2010

Ernest J. Martin

Ernie Martin, former associate executive director of the American Library Association (ALA), began working at ALA in 1971. During his twenty-nine-year career at ALA, Martin oversaw the construction of the ALA headquarters at 50 E. Huron and was responsible for ushering in the computer age, overseeing creation of the fledgling Office of Information Technology and Telecommunications Services.

At different times during his tenure at ALA, Martin was responsible for several key association services including the customer service units of membership services and conference registration, as well as human resources and finance/accounting. Martin’s steady leadership, calm demeanor, dry sense of humor, and compassion were among the hallmarks of his tenure.

In addition to his service to ALA, Martin served as a trustee of the Rolling Meadows Public Library and continues to make his home in Rolling Meadows.

Inducted November 12, 2010

Debby Miller, 1938-2016

Debby Miller has been very active in library activities on the local, state, and national levels, and she is a trustee extraordinaire!

She is a former member and president of the board of the North Suburban Library System. As a trustee of the Schaumburg Township District Library since 1971, Miller has served as that board’s president several times.

Her honors include the Illinois Library Association (ILA) Trustee of the Year Award in 1979 and the American Library Association (ALA) Trustee of the Year Award in 1985. She was president of the ILA’s Trustee Section and an officer and member of the board of ALA’s Association of Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA).

Miller served on ALA’s Intellectual Freedom and Legislation committees and was active for many years in the legislation activities of the Illinois Library Association. She served on the Illinois State Board of Education for twelve years.

She continues to be active not only at the Schaumburg Township District Library but also on the Arts Commission of the Village of Hoffman Estates as well as assisting in the adult education program at Roosevelt University in Schaumburg.

Inducted November 12, 2010

E.C. Alft

From the time he made Elgin his home in 1950, E.C. "Mike" Alft has spent much of it in the library. He is recognized as an ever-present user of the Gail Borden Public Library District, having spent nearly sixty years gleaning facts, trivia and curiosities from books and microfilm.

A teacher, constant reader, mayor and local historian, he has written more than a dozen books and booklets – one a history of Gail Borden Library, among the oldest public libraries in Illinois. As a library trustee, he was a participant in the planning for the present building and its branch.

A staunch supporter of the Freedom to Read and the Library Bill of Rights, he led board discussions when community members voiced complaints about materials. Who better to defend intellectual freedom than one who has logged the more than 2,400 books he has read since the age of fifteen, chiefly works on history, economics, government and classic literature. Not included in the list are the "light" reading titles he has consumed.

Never idle, Alft continues to offer support with workshops to train newly minted trustees and programs on Elgin's rich history as well as to portray the library namesake, dairyman Gail Borden.

Inducted July 29, 2010

Robert Wedgeworth

Robert Wedgeworth's career in librarianship has spanned the nation and the globe, but his present and roots are strongly based in Illinois.

In addition to his landmark leadership of the American Library Association (ALA) as executive director from 1972-1985, Wedgeworth served as a professor and University Librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) from 1993 until he retired from the university in 1999. He currently lives in Chicago and is noted for his public service to organizations ranging from the Newberry Library to the Poetry Foundation.

With degrees from Wabash College and the University of Illinois (1961), Wedgeworth had an illustrious career in academic librarianship at Brown University, Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, and served as dean of the School of Library Service at Columbia University from 1985-1992. Throughout his career and well into retirement, Wedgeworth continued to serve the profession, assuming the position of president of ProLiteracy Worldwide from 2001-2007.

He is only the second American to be elected president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the only one to serve a second term. For his many achievements, Wedgeworth has received six honorary doctorates and three of ALA's highest honors, including the Lippincott and Melvil Dewey awards.

Inducted July 29, 2010

Burton Joseph, 1930-2010

Burton Joseph was a friend to Illinois libraries in a way that only a true civil libertarian could be. In one of his early cases, he represented a Lake County bookseller's right to sell Henry Miller's novel Tropic of Cancer, securing a favorable decision before the Illinois Supreme Court in 1964.

Joseph may be best known for his work on cases such as the National Socialist Party of America seeking to demonstrate in Skokie in 1978 and the American Library Association's successful opposition to the constraints of the Communications Decency Act in 1997.

He always championed the rights of the underdog, from comic book artists to the retailers who sell their work. A lifelong supporter of First Amendment rights and the freedom to read, Joseph was executive director of the Playboy Foundation from 1969 to 1978, when he became chairman of its board.

Joseph was a founding member and former chairman of the Media Coalition, an association that defends the First Amendment right to produce and sell books, movies, magazines, recordings, DVDs, videotapes, and video games. He was active in and honored by the American Civil Liberties Union, and he was a Freedom to Read Foundation board member and recipient of its 2008 Roll of Honor Award.

Inducted April 15, 2010

Sharon S. Ball, 1950-2009

Sharon Ball was the consummate system consultant. Before going to the North Suburban Library System, she was a youth services librarian at Roselle and Helen M. Plum Memoiral Public Library District in Lombard and the youth services department head at Villa Park.

Ball brought to system work an understanding of the needs of youth services librarians, and she quickly learned about the needs of the school and special librarians with whom she worked. She left a spark of shining light with everyone she met and everyone with whom she worked. She was a mentor, a colleague and a friend. She taught her system consultant colleagues how to handle situations with grace, tact and good humor. It was always by example or modeling.

When she spoke, she made a person feel like they were the most important person in the world. She was a storyteller, a reader, an accomplished grant writer and master project manager. She could do all of these things with a twinkle in her eye, a smile on her lips and a positive attitude with the "good, good" response.

She did not expect awards or accolades, but she received the Davis Cup Award from the Illinois Library Association's Youth Services Forum in 2002 and the Polestar Award from the Illinois School Library Media Association in 2008. Ball was an individual who "led from the middle" and created positive changes in the profession.

Inducted February 12, 2010

Robert R. McClarren

In 1967 Robert R. McClarren was named founding director of the North Suburban Library System. Upon retirement in 1989 he was named System Director Emeritus. McClarren provided substantive and exemplary leadership for the development of the fledgling regional library systems. His unprecedented mastery of the legislative process and untiring advocacy work resulted in legislation that remains the bedrock of Illinois library legislation. ILA's Robert R. McClarren Legislative Development Award is named in his honor.

McClarren was named ILA Librarian of the Year in 1978 and served as ILA President in 1981. McClarren was Treasurer of the American Library Association 1968 - 1972.

Inducted February 12, 2010

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Peggy Sullivan, 1929 - 2020

Peggy Sullivan received the American Library Association's (ALA) highest honor in being named an Honorary ALA Member in 2008, recognizing more than fifty years of dedicated service to the profession of librarianship.

Illinois was fortunate, indeed, to have Sullivan and her boundless energy in residence. Sullivan received her doctorate from the University of Chicago and was widely regarded for her leadership in the field.

Her many achievements include having served as director of the Knapp School Libraries Project, commissioner for Extension Services at the Chicago Public Library, dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Rosary College (now Dominican University), and dean of the College of Professional Studies at Northern Illinois University.

She mentored many librarians in Illinois and served as inspiration to others through these positions as well as through her leadership in professional associations, having served as president of ALA's Children's Services Division (now the Association for Library Service to Children or ALSC), ALA President, and ALA Executive Director.

Sullivan was an active member of the profession and a powerful advocate for libraries.

Inducted 2009

Mary Josephine Booth, 1876-1965

Eastern Illinois University's Booth Library nominates its namesake, Mary Josephine Booth (1876-1965), to be recognized as an ILA Illinois Library Luminary. From 1904 to 1945 (41 years), Booth served as the library director at Eastern.

Diligent and industrious, dedicated and efficient, Booth built a library collection to support the ever-changing needs of the institution. She promoted library literacy as essential for all educated people. She inspired generations of students and educators to value libraries.

She spearheaded a successful twenty-year campaign for a new library building at Eastern (completed in 1950). Professionally, she was very active in the Illinois Library Association, serving as treasurer from 1913-1914, and as president from 1915-1916.

Booth served with the American Library Association overseas during World War I. As a scholar, she gave a variety of presentations, wrote articles for professional journals, and authored several important bibliographies.

Inducted December 4, 2009

Judith Fingeret Krug, 1940-2009

No person is more closely identified with libraries and the cause of intellectual freedom than Judith F. Krug, ILA member and director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom since it was founded in 1967.

During that time, Krug helped to found the Freedom to Read Foundation and served as its executive director from 1969 until her death in 2009. In 1982, she helped to create Banned Books Week, now an annual event.

An April 14, 2009, editorial in the New York Times celebrated Krug's role in promoting and protecting a precious First Amendment right: the freedom to read. The editorial noted that Krug, "assisted countless local librarians and library trustees dealing with objections to library materials."

Among her many honors, Krug received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the 2009 William J. Brennan Award, presented posthumously by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression.

Inducted December 4, 2009

Bridget Later Lamont

Bridget Later Lamont served as director of the Illinois State Library for more than a decade from 1983 – 1999. In the position, she fostered library development, expanded use of technology in libraries, and encouraged multi-type library cooperation.

Lamont later served as director of Policy Development for the Governor of Illinois. Lamont also served as Vice Chairman of the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.

She received the 1990 Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Library Association, was named Librarian of the Year by the Illinois Library Association in 1991, and received an honorary doctorate from Rosary College (now Dominican University) in 1994.

Inducted December 4, 2009

Barry Levine, 1950-2009

Barry Levine was a "champion" for all things library -- including accessibility. A distinguished leader, popular and respected throughout the state, Levine's passion, leadership and outstanding work for libraries earned him much recognition.

He received ILA's Trustee of the Year Award in 2001, the Alexander J. Skrzypek Award in 2004, and the Robert S. Bray award in 2009, among others. Levine was also a founding member of ISL's Talking Book and Braille Service.

His dedication to library users crossed a broad spectrum. He was a true visionary who contributed to effectively moving libraries into the future and embracing service for all.

Inducted December 4, 2009

Sarah Ann Long

As the former director of the North Suburban Library System (NSLS), Sarah Long led an organization of more than 650 academic, public, school, and special libraries in the north/northwest suburbs of Chicago.

Long was president of the American Library Association in 1999-2000 and is a past president of the Public Library Association. In her more than forty years of library leadership, she has worked with libraries and library organizations in five states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Oregon, and worked as an academic librarian in England.

Often ahead of her time, Long pioneered Internet access in NSLS libraries and earlier in her career led winning library referenda campaigns in Pennsylvania and Oregon. A frequent speaker and contributor at conferences, online, and in print, she is a six-time recipient of the John Cotton Dana Award for excellence in public relations, presented annually by the American Library Association. Her many awards and recognitions include being named the ILA Librarian of the Year in 1999.

Inducted December 4, 2009

Michael Madden

As former director of the Schaumburg Township District Library, Michael Madden was a leading force in local, state and national arenas, representing libraries and lending his talents to keep libraries relevant.

He served on and chaired numerous ILA and ALA committees during his more than forty years in the profession, served as ILA Treasurer, and taught classes in business librarianship at Rosary College (now Dominican University). His mentoring skills resulted in several former staff members becoming library directors, as well as one being elected president of ILA.

Among his innovations as a library director, he worked to install two teens as library trustees benefiting the library and the community.

Inducted December 4, 2009

Patricia Ann Scarry, 1949-2009

Patricia Scarry was the director of the Sussex County (Delaware) Department of Libraries and the Fairfield (South Carolina) County Library prior to arriving in Illinois.

She joined the American Library Association (ALA) in 1980 to establish the Chapter Relations Office and served as the association's liaison to ILA and other state associations throughout the 1980s.

As one of the youngest presidents of the Delaware Library Association, she brought the perspective of member affiliates to ALA and worked to make the larger association responsive to the needs of the state associations.

As ALA Membership Director, she was a technology innovator, leading ALA's transition to a database driven membership system and implementing new technologies for key member services. She was a tireless advocate for reading, libraries, and the disenfranchised.

Inducted December, 4 2009

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