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Library director prepares for her next endeavor

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 11:31 a.m. CDT
(Bill Ackerman -
Dr. Laurence Miller talks with Westmont Public Library director Christine Kuhn at a reception in her honor since she is leaving the library to do consulting work. Miller was on the library board that hired Kuhn 12 years ago. Bill Ackerman -

WESTMONT – When Christine Kuhn applied to be the director at the Westmont Public Library a little more than 12 years ago, she was prompted to answer one of three questions.

How would she pass a referendum in Westmont; how would she market the library; and how would she improve the programs. The questions were really all the same, Kuhn said looking back.

“It’s been a roller coaster [career] but most of the time we’ve been at the top,” Kuhn said. “We made improvements to the facility, marketed the community, started the newsletter and we expanded the program budget enormously.”

Kuhn, who was hired as the library director in 2001, recently announced her resignation. Her last day was Friday.

“It was time for me to move on and get out of the way of the strong leaders I’ve hired and let them grow to the next level,” she said.

Now, the plan is to start her own business consulting public libraries on how to market and “turn numbers around,” according to Kuhn, adding her father will be helping with the new endeavor.

The Downers Grove resident said her new business is an opportunity to share what she’s learned over the years with a larger audience.

“I’ve been really impressed with the level of volunteers in Westmont. So I’m going to try to figure out how to package that and help libraries with that.”

Throughout her years at the Westmont Public Library, Kuhn said she’s made a lot of friends and it’s been a great place to grow.

“It’s bittersweet,” Kuhn said. “It’s the end of a 12-year chapter ... but I’m also looking forward to my new chapter.”

She said she’s proud of where the library has come.

“We didn’t have DVDs or feature films and we only had 4 computers,” she said, looking back to 2001.

Now, the library has 22 computers – 18 with Internet access and four childrens computers, a number that will soon increase, Kuhn said.

After accepting Kuhn’s resignation during a board meeting Oct. 22, library trustees began the initial steps of hiring a replacement. Julia Coen will act as interim director while the position for a permanent director remains open.

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