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RAILS names Brennan new executive director

Published: Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 7:00 a.m. CDT

BURR RIDGE, Ill. — The Board of Directors of the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Deirdre “Dee” Brennan to the position of executive director. RAILS is one of two regional, multitype library systems in the state.

The system serves more than 1,500 private, public, school, and university library members in a 27,000 square mile area. The Reaching Across Illinois Library System provides library services to member libraries in northern and western Illinois in three areas of concentration: van delivery, shared online catalogs, and Talking Book Services.

She will assume her new post on Jan. 2, 2013.

Brennan is currently the executive director of the Oak Park Public Library. The Oak Park Public Library serves more than 52,000 residents through three branches.

During her six-year tenure, the library received Library Journal’s 5-star rating for 2012 and was also commended by the National Citizens Survey for its high service ratings. Among her accomplishments, Brennan is noted for diversifying the library’s programming and strengthening its infrastructure.

She has also served as Director of the Boston Regional Library System where she directed regional and statewide services for 103 libraries of different types and as Chief of Public Services at the Boston Public Library.

A prominent library leader, Brennan serves on the RAILS Member Advisory Group and as secretary of the board of SWAN (one of four RAILS shared online catalog organizations). She served as the Chair of the Illinois Library Association’s Public Policy Committee and Co-chair of the Future of Illinois Library Cooperation (FILC) planning initiative that assessed the future needs of Illinois libraries and residents. She also served on the Future of Library Systems Subcommittee during the merger process that culminated in the merger of five Illinois library systems and the formation of RAILS in July 2011.

Brennan received her Master’s of Library Science (MLS) degree from Simmons College (Boston, Mass.) and her undergraduate degree from Boston College.

“The RAILS Board is delighted to make this announcement,” said Alan Davidson, president of the RAILS Board. “Brennan brings a wealth of experience to the table and we feel that she will be a wonderful asset in moving our library system forward in the months and years to come.”

Get more information about RAILS at www.railslibraries.info/about.

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