Antioch Public Library transitions directors

  • Retiring library director for the Antioch Public Library District Kathryne LaBuda and newly appointed APLD Library Director Jennifer Drinka at a community open house honoring them.

    Retiring library director for the Antioch Public Library District Kathryne LaBuda and newly appointed APLD Library Director Jennifer Drinka at a community open house honoring them. Courtesy of Becky L. Jacobson

 
Submitted by Becky L. Jacobson
Updated 12/16/2016 8:35 AM

After 34 years of service, the Antioch Public Library District says goodbye to Director Kathryne LaBuda and hello to Jennifer Drinka.

Receptions were held for both in October and November at open houses. LaBuda's retirement will be official as she leaves her position in December, having been only the fourth library director in the 96-year history of the Antioch library.

 

In her three-plus decades as director, LaBuda ushered in a variety of changes. One of the largest was increasing the library size from 13,000 square feet to 31,000 square feet. Under her direction, the collection grew from a little over 60,000 volumes to more than 167,000 and programs have grown exponentially.

She also oversaw the ushering in of technology with computers and a library website. Technology also brought with it the digitalization of the card catalog, as well as 110 years of Antioch newspapers. Her financial management garnered the library district an AA- Bond Rating from Standard & Poor's, but most importantly her impact and dedication to providing service in the community through the library remained constant throughout her directorship.

As she departs, the library is much more than brick and mortar, but an array of programs and materials available at the library and from home through the library webpage and databases.

In mid-September, the Antioch Public Library District's Board of Trustees voted to appoint Jennifer Drinka to the position of library director. Drinka took the helm of the Antioch Public Library District on Oct. 24, and brings with her 18 years of library experience from Crystal Lake Public Library, Barrington Area Library and Warren-Newport Public Library.

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Drinka's first job was as a children's page at the Antioch Public Library District, and she is thrilled to come full circle to take on a leadership role.

She grew up in Antioch as the youngest of nine children in the Groth family, who have lived in Antioch for 55 years. Drinka's mother took her to the Antioch District Library every week growing up. Although they didn't have a lot of money, Drinka felt rich when she'd come to the library and check out as many books as she could carry.

Drinka received her bachelor of arts in fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago and her master's in library and information science from Dominican University. She plans to move to Antioch in the coming year along with her husband Joe, a fellow librarian.

Drinka is excited to draw upon her deep roots in Antioch, along with her forward-thinking and experience at other libraries, to make the Antioch Public Library District a shining star in Lake County and beyond. She envisions carrying on Antioch Public Library District's tradition of friendliness and creativity, while enhancing opportunities for play and exploration, as well as community outreach for all ages.

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