Associate library director offered top job

Associate library director offered top job

URBANA – A veteran employee of the Urbana Free Library has been offered the executive director position by the library board, but the two sides are negotiating a contract.

Kermit Harden, library board president, said the board has offered the position to Debra Lissak, 54, the library's associate director for 23 years.

"The board approved her employment with the idea we'll negotiate a contract," he said, adding that a draft contract has been drawn up and will be discussed at Tuesday's 7:30 p.m. library board meeting. The board meets at the library at 210 W. Green St.

"She's well acquainted with the library and how it operates," Harden said. "She gets along pretty well with the staff. It's just a good match all around."

Longtime library Executive Director Fred Schlipf is scheduled to retire May 15 after 32 years on the job. He said he believes Lissak is a natural choice to succeed him.

"She's an excellent choice," he said. "She's been here a long time, knows the library intimately and is probably the best organized person I've ever met in my life."

Lissak said she's excited about the job offer.

"I'm very committed to the Urbana Free Library and the Urbana community," she said. "At this point, it's just a matter of having that final meeting with the board over salary and contract terms."

Lissak has worked at the Urbana Free Library for 26 years and a resident of Urbana since 1979. She has a master's degree in library science from the University of Illinois.

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