The Waukegan Public Library Board of Trustees has selected a new executive director, Selina Gomez-Beloz, to lead the Library following the retirement of longtime executive director, Richard Lee. Gomez-Beloz has over 20 years' experience working in a variety of library settings, including her current role as director at Crown Point Community Library in Indiana, which she has held since 2014.
Gomez-Beloz is passionate about diversity and equity, both at the libraries where she's worked and in the field of librarianship, and it was Waukegan's commitment to literacy and continued community engagement that attracted her to the role. "My career has been focused on community engagement, diversity, and reducing barriers to library services," Gomez-Beloz said. "I see so much opportunity in combining my experience and passions with the already impressive and responsive work accomplished by this Library."
Under Lee's leadership, the Library redefined its approach to success to focus on patron impact, and made reaching out to – and into – the community a priority. In 2013, the Library was awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service for its impactful community engagement and service development. Since then, the Library has dedicated itself to community impact through literacy, and its work to address inequities of digital, health, and functional literacy among adults has set it apart as a leader in the field.
The Board of Trustees was impressed by Gomez-Beloz's breadth of experience and passion for reducing barriers to access of library services. Gomez-Beloz also set herself apart thanks to her professional service. She has held leadership roles with the American Library Association, REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, and other professional organizations. "She has a great combination of experience and energy," said president of the Board Mary Stickels. "We are excited to build on the Library's strong foundation of service to the community with Selina's leadership."
Gomez-Beloz begins her tenure as executive director on February 19. "I am very excited to become part of a dynamic team at Waukegan Public Library," Gomez-Beloz said, "and I am looking forward to joining the Waukegan community, both professionally and personally."