At a special meeting of the Park Ridge Public Library Board of Trustees held May 5, Park Ridge native Joanna Bertucci was appointed as the new director effective June 1, 2021. Bertucci brings 14 years of library experience to the role. She served as the operations manager of the River Forest Public Library since 2016, and worked in a dual role as interim co-director from October 2020 to January 2021.
As operations manager and interim co-director, Bertucci led the library’s Covid-19 response plan from Library closure, shift to virtual services, to its reopening to the public, while managing the library’s finances, facility and day-to-day operations. As operations manager, she helmed significant capital projects and strategic initiatives, managed the Materials Services department and was responsible for all human resources functions.
"The board was impressed with Ms. Bertucci's professionalism and enthusiasm for the role,” said Lauren Rapisand, president of the Library Board of Trustees. “Her commitment to collaborative work, her data- driven decision making, her solid financial background, management experience and overall commitment to the library community made us feel confident in our decision."
Bertucci has held many roles, from librarian to administrator. with experience in project management, financial planning, crisis recovery and patron relations. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree (MLIS) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History, both from Dominican University in River Forest, Ill.
"The Park Ridge Public Library has been a part of my life for many years,” said Bertucci, who grew up in Park Ridge and now lives in the area. “The opportunity to serve as the Library's next director is an honor. I look forward to connecting with the community and working with the creative, talented and dedicated Library staff and Board of Trustees."
The Library Board of Trustees began their new director search in January after the previous director, Heidi Smith, had resigned in December 2020 to take the director position at her hometown library. The board used the firm Bradbury Miller Associates, a search firm focused specifically on libraries, to conduct the search. There were 33 candidates at the beginning of the process. The search was done completely virtually due to COVID-19. Eight individuals were invited to interview with the Board. Three finalists gave presentations on how they would work with the Library’s new strategic plan, had a question and answer session with the Library’s management team and had final interviews with the board.