By Miriam Meza –
Have you been following along with what’s new at the Aurora Public Library (APL)? You might know we have a new executive director, Michaela Haberkern. You probably have been wondering what her vision is, what her background is, or just want to know more about her. Well, here is the scoop!
Michaela Haberkern began her role as executive director March 4, but don’t be fooled. She’s been with APL for three years as deputy director and has 25-plus years of experience at other libraries. When asked what sparked her interest to work for libraries, she talked about her desire for a place that made her look forward to going to work every day, a role that had meaning, and would make a difference. Michaela said she fell in love with libraries just two weeks after starting her first library job, on a bookmobile. She exuberantly said, “It was my dream job! I’d always loved books and I read all the time, for fun and to learn. I also had a really good mentor. He built great connections with customers and I wanted that.” Little does she know she has become a mentor for APL staff members.
She reflects on her biggest accomplishments in her tenure at the APL: She said she’s most proud of being part of building a closer-knit team. She was a part of hiring, promoting, and retaining great people. In addition to improving the customer service experience from implementing Communico (our system that helps you register for programs and reserve rooms), decreasing the time for books to return to the shelves, and overall building a customer-centered approach.
What can you expect from Michaela as director? She said, “I’m most excited about having the opportunity to work with staff and the community to keep making the Aurora Public Library better, to help us serve the community better.”
She’s hitting the ground running and hopes to accomplish a five-year plan to update West Branch and Eola Road Branch. She says she said as though everything she’s learned in her career she can bring and use at the APL.
She emphasizes how the community plays a big role: “Something I love about APL is the community. It’s a community that needs and loves its Library. We can make a difference in every day.” In addition, she said she’s open to new ideas, and wants to hear ways she can engage in the community.
One way she keeps up with the community is by reading (shocker!) She has a diverse taste in reading from African and Asian mythology to her most recent, French Exit by Patrick Dewitt and Far Sighted – How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most by Steven Johnson. Maybe a way you can engage with Michaela is by recommending a good reading material? Stay tuned with us to see what new changes are in APL’s future.
Miriam Meza is communications manager for Aurora Public Library.